A send-off ceremony is being held Thursday morning in Ankeny for over 120 members of the Iowa National Guard. Mary Battistello of Pella tells KNIA/KRLS News that her son-in-law is among the soldiers in the 1st Squadron, 113th Calvary, who will be leaving for training in Shelby,Mississippi. Mary and her husband Jack Battistello are co-owners of J & M Truck and Equipment of Pella.
She adds that her son-in-law will leave behind a wife and four children during his one year deployment in Afghanistan, and is one of several soldiers from the Pella area who were called into active duty. The send-off ceremony will be held at 10:00 a.m. Thursday at Ankeny High School, and is part of a series of send-offs that began earlier this summer as the Iowa Guard experiences its largest deployment of troops since World War II. Other ceremonies will be held this week in LeMars, Sioux City, Marshalltown, Cedar Rapids and Des Moines.