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Emotional Gathering for Troops Enroute to Afghanistan

December 12, 2011

Call to Duty CeremonySeveral hundred family members, friends and dignitaries gathered for the official Call to Duty ceremony for members of Ohio National Guard Company B 3-238th Aviation Regiment (GSAB) in North Canton, Ohio on December 11, 2011.  The 73 member Aviation unit is headed for a one year deployment to Afghanistan. Observing the emotions of the military families, some with young children, the sacrifices that these families of soldiers make clearly deserve gratitude for our freedoms.

The following day before dawn, family and friends gathered to deliver more well-wishes to their soldiers and to witness the unusal and unprescidented aviation departure. 
Just as the sun was warming in the 18 degree morning, 12 pilots of the six
Chinook helecopters started up the rotors in unison like an orchestrated ballet. Noticeably, the turbulance created by the helicopters created a wind-chill, and the sound of the blades echoed the heartbeats of families, but all eyes were on the action. Then, just like a highly choreographed broadway event, they maneuvered into a precision hover, and slowly, one by one, maneuvered into position in a single line and headed out of view.  But only for a moment…

These highly trained aviators had one more encore for their audience. They circled around for a fly-by, and one more fantastic show of skill by moving into flight position, precisely spaced in double straight lines over head. As the Chinooks faded into the morning sky, it was as if they were in slow motion to suspend this moment just a little longer. It will take two stops per day for fuel, and one overnight on the way toThree Ohio National Guard Chinook helicopters Fort Hood for several more weeks of training with the rest of their group, before their eventual deployment to Afghanistan. Not your usual road trip. If you know any families with soldiers who are deployed, give them an extra hand, or an unexpected Thank You. They are doing more than the rest of us know in support of our freedom, including missing one year worth of birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and other milestones. Safe travels Company B 3-238th Aviation Regiment.  The countdown to your safe return has begun. View footage of the helicopter maneuvers.

Pilot heading to Ft Hood and Afghanistan

Pilot walking to his aircraft for flight to Ft Hood enroute to Afghanistan

From → Travel, Uncategorized

  1. adhyde permalink

    I pray for safety for the troops and comfort for the families and friends left at home…

  2. As one of the soldiers leaving with the GSAB, I just wanted to make a comment on this article. Of all the recent articles I’ve read about our deployment, this was by far the best written article. Kudos to the writer. You hit the nail on the head. It brought tears to my eyes how you described yesterdays events. Thank you for your masterpiece and support.

    A Grateful Soldier

  3. Jason, it was an honor to put your event into words. God bless all of you!

  4. heh permalink

    I have to agree… 🙂

  5. Carole Gaul permalink

    May a “Guardian Angel” be with each and everyone of our service men and women overseas.

  6. Desirae permalink

    I miss my brother already that is 1 of the men that went over there. He is my hero and will always be in my heart and my prayers! Also to all the familys of the other men and women that are in that group that are with him!! Stay safe and love and miss you James!!

  7. DEBRA A LOWERY permalink


  8. I am very pleased to report that all members of Ohio National Guard Company B 3-238th Aviation Regiment (GSAB) from North Canton, Ohio returned safely from Afghanistan after their one-year deployment! A truly happy holiday season for these families this year! God Bless all who have served our country for our freedoms.

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