||Brad Meyer, Director of Public and Media Relations
Office: (567) 661-7421 Cell: (419) 351-5253
Ohio National Guardsmen Honored at Owens, September 10
Area residents will have the opportunity to honor their local soldiers as Owens Community College hosts a Freedom Salute Campaign Ceremony for the Ohio National Guard's 416th Engineer Group on Friday, September 10.
The Freedom Salute Campaign Ceremony for the unit will begin at 7 p.m. in the College's Student Health and Activities Center on the Toledo-area Campus. Owens is located on Oregon Road, four miles from downtown Toledo.
The College will join community leaders, family members and area residents in recognizing the 416th Engineer Group from its deployment overseas. In recognition of their outstanding support of the unit while mobilized, three community organizations will receive the Center of Influence Award, while an individual will be honored as the Distinguished Center of Influence Person.
"Owens Community College is proud to honor our brave servicemen and servicewomen for dedicating their lives to preserving liberty," said Gary Dettling, Owens Vice President of College Advancement, and serves as an officer in the National Guard holding Major Rank. "Extending our gratitude to the 416th Engineer Group represents a small token of our continued appreciation for their selfless acts."
Approximately 60 personnel from the 416th Engineer Group, which is located in Walbridge, were mobilized to support Operation Enduring Freedom efforts in the U.S. Central Command area of operations within Afghanistan.
As part of its mission, the 416th Engineer Group provided command and control of engineer assets in the area of operations for firefighting, dump truck and bridge building units. The 416th Engineer Group unit was mobilized and overseas from September 2003 to June 2004.
Since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, over 6,500 members of the Ohio National Guard have answered the nation's call, serving in geographical regions ranging from Afghanistan to the Persian Gulf. During the past year, approximately 40 Owens students from the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses have been called to serve their country in the military.
Comparable to the National Guard of other states, the Ohio National Guard has a long history of service to its citizens and the United States. Its heritage is rooted in the militia system that has played a vital role in conflicts, wars, civil disturbances and natural disasters throughout our nation's history. The overall mission of the Ohio National Guard is to provide trained units and equipment capable of protecting life and property and preserving peace, order and public safety.
The Ohio National Guard maintains a presence in 54 of the state's 88 counties. Ohio's Air Guard units are dispersed in seven geographical locations to include Cincinnati, Columbus, Mansfield, Port Clinton, Springfield, Toledo and Zanesville. The state's Army Guard units occupy several training sites and 51 armories statewide.
For those reservists who are currently pursuing their college education, Owens Community College is committed to assisting them in fulfilling their military commitment.
Owens students called to active duty should contact the College's Veterans Representative, ensuring that they receive a full refund on their paid semester tuition and fees. Once the College receives a student's military orders, an Owens representative will complete the proper paperwork to release the service member from College courses. In addition, Owens suggests that any reservist with prior student loans contact their servicing agents and request forbearance on their loan.
For more information, contact the Owens Veterans Representative at 1-800-GO- OWENS, Ext. 7342 or (567) 661-7342.
Owens Community College is the fastest-growing higher educational institution in Ohio with 28 consecutive semesters of enrollment increases. On the Toledo- area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 44,000 credit and non- credit students making it the number one choice for Northwest Ohio college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.