(Le Mars) — 80 soldiers from the 113th Calvary Troop “C” left Le Mars this morning (Monday) for a nearly year long deployment to Africa. The send-off ceremony
was held at the National Guard armory building, but was closed to the general public. Families were not even allowed to attend the ceremony, because of the threat of the COVID-19 virus. Among the speakers at today’s event was Brigadaire General Steve Kremer,who is the assistant adjutant general for readiness for the Iowa National Guard. Kremer spoke fondly of
his memories of the 113th Calvary, Charlie troop, when he addressed the soldiers ready to leave behind their families and friends.
The Brigadaire General says he recalls how the guard unit has always understood success, and mission accomplishment, every day, week, and month of deployment is based on the collective effort of working as a team. Kremer says he is confident with the leadership of the 113th Calvary with its “C” troop.
General Kremer challenged the soldiers to give their 100 percent, and to watch over each other. Kremer says their mission is important and has meaning. He says many of the departing soldiers and their families were probably wondering if they are ready for this deployment?
General Kremer then tried to offer some reassurance to the soldiers about their year-long mission.
Kremer emphasized to the departing soldiers that their families are not alone, as the Iowa National Guard provides outstanding support.
Kremer concluded his message by thanking the families, friends and the community for the love and support shown to the soldiers. Le Mars mayor Dick Kirchoff also addressed the troops and wished them well on their deployment mission. Kirchoff reminded the local guard unit that all of Le Mars stand
behind the unit and the mission.
Before boarding the buses, Kirchoff and Kremer presented to Commanding Officer Kyle Cooper an Iowa flag which is to be carried and raised during their deployment.
(Le Mars) — Following the speeches, the soldiers than boarded awaiting buses and were led through Le Mars for a send-off parade by the Northwest Iowa Legion Riders motorcycle club, and local law enforcement officials. The parade went through the Le Mars Municipal Park, then on to Central Avenue where hundreds of people were waving American
flags and holding signs and posters wishing the soldiers well. The parade traveled south on Central Avenue then turned on 18th Street southwest until it left town on Hawkeye Avenue or Business Highway 75. Commanding Officer Captain Kyle Cooper says the group of soldiers will initially attend training
Following the training in both Minnesota and in Texas, the 113th Calvary, C troop will then be deployed for nearly a year to Africa.
The ceremony can also be seen on the KLEM Facebook page.