Send-Off Ceremony For National Guard Unit
(WHBC) – The Call to Duty Ceremony was held in North Canton for Ohio National Guard Company B – 638th Aviation Support Battalion, which is heading to Kuwait.
We spoke with Specialist Andrea Gump after she gave her mom a big hug.
“My mom’s my best friend, so it’s definitely going to be hard to leave her,” the 21-year-old said.
“But I keep reminding them to remain positive, because we have something to look forward to when I come home in a year.”
Her mom, Erica, says it’s going to be a long year.
“I’m terrified for her safety, because if something goes wrong or she needs me I can’t just go to her, like from Wheeling to Kent State, but at the same time I couldn’t be more proud.”
Specialist Gump is from Wheeling, West Virginia and recently graduated from Kent State University with a degree in journalism.
Governor DeWine attended the ceremony, thanking, not only the 110 soldiers for their service, but their families as well.
“Quite candidly, for those of us who have not been deployed, it’s probably impossible for us to understand what you go through in missing your family.”
North Canton Mayor David Held spoke at the ceremony, saying there’s really no words to express how much America benefits from soldiers like those in Company B.
“I’m driving around this morning, I got my diet Dr. Pepper, got the gas tank filled up, got a cream stick, and I’m thinking to myself…I can do this…I can do this because of all of you. Because of your willingness to show up and to serve your country.”
Company B is stationed at the North Canton Armory attached to the Akron-Canton Airport.
This is the unit’s first deployment as a company in its 71-year history.
The send-off ceremony for National Guard Company B is underway in North Canton, as the aviation unit deploys to Kuwait.
Posted by News-Talk 1480 WHBC on Friday, February 8, 2019