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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Support the 1191st on May 30 -- Come to Coles Boulevard

Part of the duty of American citizenship is showing proper respect for the defenders of American freedom, those brave individuals in our armed forces. Despite the obvious differences in our political stances and foreign policy views, we must agree that those who enter war zones deserve our utmost support and our special prayers. The time has come for all good citizens of Scioto County to show their love for the troops and their concern for a safe return.

The 1191st Engineer Company, located in Portsmouth, is being deployed to Afghanistan. They will be leaving the armory on Coles Boulevard at 8 A.M. on Friday, May 30. The public -- individuals, churches, civic groups, schools, all others -- are being asked to congregate on Coles that morning as a strong show of support for our local company who is headed in harm's way.

Commander Shawn Gee of James Dickey Post 23 of the American Legion says, “I would love to see people lining Coles Boulevard. We are going to do the crossed flags on our ladder trucks.”

The day before, May 29 at 10 a.m., there will be a “Call To Duty” ceremony at Shawnee State University. Governor John Kasich, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner and other political leaders are expected to attend.

The Legion is also assisting the Family Readiness Group. “We have set up a fund at Post 23 called the 1191st Fund, and what we’re going to try to do is gather some funds up to help send care packages to the folks when they get deployed, plus our bigger concern is really the family members back home,” Gee said. “The last time they deployed there were a lot of instances where the younger mothers needed diapers and things like that.”

Local newspaperman Frank Lewis says, "The families begin 12 months of extreme stress. When troops deploy their families often find they are overwhelmed by more than emotion. There are bills to pay, children to care for, emergencies, responsibilities and pressures that may suddenly overtake a spouse used to sharing his or her burdens with a partner. Caring friends and neighbors can offer invaluable support to these families lessening troop stress simultaneously. Offering repair skills, babysitting ability, grocery delivery, budgeting talent, tutoring, and more can totally shift the atmosphere for a military family.

"To provide financial support, checks can be made out to the “1191st Fund,” and sent to James Dickey Post 23, 705 Court St., Portsmouth, Ohio, 45662, Attention Ken Crawford."

(Frank Lewis. "1191st Engineer Company Will Deploy to Afghanistan." 
Portsmouth Daily Times. May 21, 2014)

Please support the Family Readiness Group fund with a generous financial donation. 

Getting To Know the 1191st 

The 1191st Engineer Company was organized and Federally recognized June 3, 1921, in the Ohio National Guard at Portsmouth, Ohio, as Battery C, 135th Field Artillery, an element of the 37th Division. The company was redesignated July 1, 1921 as Battery B, 134th Field Artillery.
The campaign participation credits of the 1191st include the following:

World War II -- New Guinea
War on Terrorism -- Iraq: Transition of Iraq and Governance of Iraq

Also, in 2008, the 1191st was deployed to Louisiana to aid in the recovery effort from Hurricane Gustav, and in 2011, members responded with ready units to Vermont in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene.

Decorations for the 1191st include the Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) and the streamer embroidered IRAQ 200.

These selfless troops of the 1191st represent the best of America. They serve the nation with pride and distinction, and the volunteers comprise the greatest troops in the world. So many individuals have records of multiple deployments in war zones. Never before have our forces been asked to do more for the good of their country. Never. This is the 14th year of the war in Afghanistan, and so far 2,322 Americans have sacrificed their lives there, and nearly 19,698 others have been injured.

Take a look at network newscasts and press stories. Do you, like me, notice a lack of coverage about the War in Afghanistan? This indifference is unacceptable, yet it seems to be a part of a growing trend in the public eye that the war is over. Make no mistake, the fighting continues and casualties still mount. Our men and women face extreme danger. The least the media and the public must do is keep us informed about the warriors we send abroad. Some still make the ultimate sacrifice.

May 30 is an important day in the lives of those being deployed -- not only because it begins their journey to a dangerous, grueling service in a war zone but also because it offers them an opportunity to feel the love and support of their caring hometown community in a heartfelt sendoff. This backing helps create a positive mindset essential to their safe and their successful mission.

Wake up, carpool to the Boulevard, and show your support of the 1191st on May 30. They and you will never forget it.

 Capt. Gene Hancock (center) receives the 1191st Engineer Company guideon from Lt. Col. Bernardino C. Capriato, commander of the 216th Engineer Battalion, during the company’s May 2, 2010, change-of-command ceremony.

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