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    Iraq-bound troops receive gift from local community

    Iraq-bound troops receive gift from local community

    Photo By Sgt. Rob Cooper | (from left) Staff Sgt. Annette Stivers and Sgt. John Fisher, members of the 1483rd...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Rob Cooper 

    Camp Atterbury Public Affairs

    FRANKLIN, Ind. — A company of Ohio National Guardsmen bound for Iraq received a double-dose of Hoosier Hospitality and respite from training Sunday evening at a local theater where they were treated to a movie and concessions courtesy of the Franklin community.

    The 1483rd Transportation Company, based out of Toledo, Ohio, enjoyed a screening of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, along with popcorn and soft drinks at the Canary Creek Cinema here thanks in part to the cooperative efforts of the unit's commander, the cinema's manager and Franklin Mayor Fred Paris.

    Capt. Mark Treacher, the unit's commander, said it all started with a desire to reward the Soldiers for their hard work in preparation for their deployment later this summer to Iraq. The unit is currently mobilizing through Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center near Edinburgh.

    "We put this together for the Soldiers, as we are coming up on the last week of training before we begin our Mission Readiness Exercise," Treacher said. "This was a way to get off post, relax for a little bit and give Soldiers some downtime before we go into the shoot and begin our final training."

    The concept was simple, Teacher said; call a few theaters and see about getting a discounted rate for his company of more than 170 Soldiers, using the units Morale, Welfare, and Recreation funds.

    "Every unit that mobilizes through Camp Atterbury is able to get this MWR money," Treacher said. "I just called some of the local theaters around here, and Mr. Rembusch, [the cinema manager], was very cooperative. We told him that we had this MWR money from Fort Knox and we'd like to take the Soldiers out to the movies."

    Unfortunately, the unit was short about $400 in order to cover the cost of each Soldier, which prompted the mayor to donate the difference.

    Paris, who was out of town Sunday, said via e-mail that the donation was to show the community's thanks towards service members who serve both at home and overseas.

    "With all the good these people do for our country, this was just a simple way for me to say 'thanks,'" Paris said. "My thoughts and prayers are with them as they continue their service to the United States."

    Rembusch was on hand Sunday to chat and shake hands with the Soldiers, each one expressing gratitude for the gesture.

    "We like to accommodate you guys, especially the troops who are getting ready to go overseas, so when this opportunity came up... we got the mayor involved, and he offered out of [the city's] discretionary fund he controls to complete the amount that was needed," he said.

    Rembusch said that the gesture is small compared to the overall sacrifices every deploying Soldier makes.

    "I think everybody here in Franklin, and nationally, understand the hardships and travails you guys go through with leaving the country and your families," Rembusch said. "We're really happy to have them here, and speaking on behalf of the entire community here, we want them to know how much we appreciate what they do for us."

    Treacher said the coordination between the theater and the mayor showed that the community appreciates its Citizen-Soldiers.

    "I think seeing the mayor and the cinema step in with their support says a lot about them. Maybe, hopefully, this can open up the possibility for other units to do this as they're mobilizing through Camp Atterbury."

    Spc. Nicole Day, the unit's MWR representative, expressed the importance of getting a chance to relax from rigorous training at Camp Atterbury.

    "We've been working for a month without a day off, so this is our commander's way of rewarding us for working so hard and getting prepared to go to Iraq," she said. "You know how on those Sundays when you go see a movie with the family or stay home and play a board game? This gives us a chance like that to decompress."

    Treacher said that in the end, taking care of his Soldiers is his top priority and said that his Soldiers are reflective of the very movie they watched Sunday night.

    "It's very fitting that we were able to see a movie about the 'Real American Hero' when I've got a company full of real, American heroes."



    Date Taken: 08.10.2009
    Date Posted: 08.10.2009 16:01
    Story ID: 37342
    Location: FRANKLIN, US

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