The 922nd National Guard unit leaves this Sunday, February 3, for Kuwait. The troops will leave at 8 a.m. from the armory at 412 Irma Blvd, turn left on Cornerview, take a left on Highway 44, turn right on Highway 30, then turn right onto I-10 to continue to Baton Rouge Airport. The Ascension Veterans Association is asking for community support to send these soldiers off in style!
The troop will deport on Sunday to Fort Bliss, Texas for mobilization training before heading overseas.
Family, friends, and community members are urged to line the streets of their route to wave the troops off. Bring your friends and family and help make this deployment special for our local guard members.
Organizers are asking that anyone who wished to participate decorate posters and bring their own flags. If you don’t have flags or posters, just show up with a big smile on your face. They are hoping for a huge turnout.
A veteran of Desert Storm and Commander of Gonzales Memorial VFW Post 3693 and chairman of the Ascension Veterans Association, Brent Gautreau, has been the main organizer of the event. Gautreau retired from the United States Army in 2004, but has stayed active in the Ascension military community. He explained to me that he has met many members of the deploying unit and they deserve every bit of recognition and support Ascension can conjure.
“I know these guys and how dedicated they are to the mission. I know how they will miss their families while they are gone.”
Gautreau urged everyone to come out and support these troops before they leave Ascension for a year.
“One hundred fifty-nine of OUR citizen soldiers are leaving for a year-long deployment to Kuwait. They are leaving behind family and friends. The soldiers and their families will miss a lot of those things this year that we all take for granted. Ascension Parish, let’s all get out there Sunday morning and show our support to those soldiers and families that will endure this separation. We always rally around those in need of our support. Sunday is a great opportunity to continue this tradition.”
So, come out for a bit early Sunday and pick a spot anywhere on the route. Come help make sure these soldiers know we are thinking about them, missing them, and praying for their safe return. And make sure to bundle up, as it will be a little chilly!