09-081 Flood Feature: Guardsmen Pause for Easter Services
By Sgt Amy Willson, NDNG Public Affairs
/ Published April 20, 2009
FARGO, N.D. -- Nearly 900 North Dakota National Guard Soldiers and Airmen remain on duty around the state this Easter Sunday, and hundreds more will join their ranks tomorrow as the Guard steps up its efforts in the face of pending floodwater crests. Dozens more North Dakota Soldiers and Airmen are deployed around the globe this Easter, the largest group being the 1-188th Air Defense Artillery RAID III (Rapid Aerostat Initial Deployment) unit serving in Afghanistan.
Many took time from their duties to observe the holiday. Buses are bringing Guardsmen on flood duty to local church services in many communities, and Chaplain (Col.) William Ziegler led Protestant worship services at the Fargo Armed Forces Reserve Center this morning.
In his homily, Ziegler drew analogies between Good Friday and Easter Sunday with the experiences many Guardsmen have had in recent weeks on both a personal and professional level as they battle flooding in their communities and neighborhoods.
"It's important for us involved in flood ops to not give up our primary duty and pause to say, 'God is risen,'" Ziegler said.
Since the terrorist attacks on America, the North Dakota National Guard has mobilized more than 2,800 Soldiers and more than 1,600 Airmen in support of the Global War on Terrorism. In recent weeks, nearly 2,000 North Dakota National Guardsmen - with support of about 400 additional Soldiers and Airmen from six other states - have been mobilized for current flood fighting missions all across North Dakota. With a total force of about 4,400 Soldiers and Airmen, we continue to have sufficient forces available to provide support for state and national emergencies and homeland defense.