The picture below is of one of my high school friends, Brian Dockwell-Thoe. His Iowa National Guard unit has been activated, and he's being shipped out to an unknown destination, though you don't have to be a military genius to figure out that it's probably Iraq. His picture was in the area paper for North Iowa.
North Iowans say farewell, Godspeed to 1133rd Transportation Company
MASON CITY - Hundreds of North Iowans wept, waved American flags and hugged their loved ones this morning in an emotional send-off to 170 members of the 1133rd Transportation Company of the Iowa National Guard. The guard unit, called up for active duty last week, left in a convoy for Fort McCoy, Wis., its mobilization station, where they will await their next assignment.
A formal farewell ceremony was held inside the armory, but many residents braved bone-chilling weather as they lined the streets to say their good-byes with a shout or a wave.