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Published 6/9/2005

Ohio National Guardsmen Honored at Owens, June 18

Area residents will have the opportunity to honor their local soldiers as Owens Community College hosts a Freedom Campaign Ceremony for the Ohio National Guard's 216th Engineer Battalion on Saturday, June 18.

The Freedom Campaign Ceremony for the unit will begin at 11 a.m. in the College's Audio/Visual Classroom Center Rooms 125-128 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 honoring the 216th Engineer Battalion from its deployment overseas. In recognition of outstanding support for the unit, a community organization will receive the Center of Influence Award, while an individual will be honored with the Distinguished Center of Influence Person Award.

"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 216th Engineer Battalion represents a small token of our continued appreciation for their selfless acts."

Approximately 50 personnel from the 216th Engineer Battalion, which is located in Walbridge, were mobilized to support Operation Iraqi Freedom efforts in the U.S. Central Command area of operations. The area included culturally diverse nations located in the Horn of Africa, South and Central Asia, and the Northern Red Seas regions, as well as the Arabian Peninsula in Iraq.

As part of its mission, the 216th Engineer Battalion provided command and control of engineer assets in the area of operations for firefighting, dump truck and bridge building units. The Battalion was mobilized and overseas from February 2004 to March 2005.

Since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, over 7,000 members of the Ohio National Guard have answered the nation's call, serving in geographical regions ranging from Afghanistan to the Persian Gulf.

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 one of the fastest-growing higher educational institutions in Ohio. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 45,000 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, and 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.


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P.O. Box 10,000, Toledo, OH 43699-1947  |  3200 Bright Road, Findlay, OH 45840-3600