IOWA FALLS, Iowa — This week the Iowa National Guard has deployed soldiers by the hundreds to leave for the better part of a year. Send off ceremonies were held in Iowa Falls, and Johnston, as well as other Iowa communities. The problem this year, is that families were not allowed to attend the cermonies in person due to COVID-19.
“You are the less than one per cent of the American population that serves in uniform today,” Iowa Guard Brigadier General Steve Kramer told the troops in Iowa Falls. “Thus, allowing all of us to continue enjoying the freedoms provided by those who served before us. It’s truly amazing when you think about that.”
He noted that for many first timers who are deployed there are some concerns.
“Some of you may be even wondering if your family is ready for what’s ahead,” said Kramer. “You’re thinking about the things you’re going to miss, you’re worried about what happens when something breaks at home, or who’s going to shovel the snow when it comes this winter.”
He said those are all very normal concerns, and the Iowa National Guard does what they can to help families waiting at home while loved-ones are serving.
“We do a series of Yellow Ribbon Events, to bring family members in to make sure they’re aware of services and the benefits that are available for family members of deployed soldiers,” said Col. Michael Wunn, of the Iowa National Guard.
Wunn said Iowa soldiers tend to deploy in waves, because the training is cyclical, and this year is what’s called a “ready year” for many. Iowa Falls held a big send off parade.
“My son’s being deployed so we got the whole family out here, so we’re just here to wish him well, we’re proud of him,” said Chad Adelmund, who came to see son Cody off to his first deployment. Cody’s wife Brooke, was also there.
“They’re newly married so its gonna be a change so we’re going to take care of her while he’s gone,so make sure everything’s good,” said Adelmund.
At the send off in Johnston, there was a grandmother there to cheer on her grandson, Morgan Lee Morgan.
“Morgan Lee is the kindest young Man,” said his grandma Judy White-Rose, who adressed the video camera with a message to the soldier. “Morgan..If you see this,I love you, just do your job as you always do,and come back safe.”
For Morgan’s wife he will be greatly missed during the almost year he will be gone.
“Just him being gone in general is going to be difficult,” said Adriana Morgan. “He’s been gone before for different classes, but not for this long.”