||Brad Meyer, Director of Public and Media Relations
Office: (567) 661-7421 Cell: (419) 351-5253
Owens Hosts Deployment Ceremony For Ohio National Guardsmen, Nov. 12
Area residents will have the opportunity to honor their local soldiers as Owens Community College hosts a Deployment Ceremony for the Ohio National Guard's 612th Engineer Battalion on Friday, November 12.
The Deployment Ceremony for the unit will begin at 7 p.m. in the College's Audio/Visual Classroom Center Rooms 123-128 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 612th Engineer Battalion prior to its travel overseas. Also in attendance will include several state senators and representatives.
"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. "Our nation would not be experiencing life as we know it without their selfless acts in defending America's freedom."
Approximately 100 personnel from the 612th Engineer Battalion, which is located in Walbridge, have been mobilized to support Operation Iraqi Freedom efforts in the U.S. Central Command area of operations. The area includes culturally diverse nations located throughout the Horn of Africa, Southwest Asia and the Northern Red Seas regions, as well as the Arabian Peninsula.
As part of its mission, the 612th Engineer Battalion will provide support in the theatre of operations for higher echelon. The 612th Engineer Battalion unit is expected to depart for its overseas mission in December or January.
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 the release the service member from college courses. In addition, Owens suggests that any reservist with prior students loans contact their servicing agents and request forbearance on their loan.
For more information, contact 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 29 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 new 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.