|
|
Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Local National Guard MPs preparing for deployment

  • Most of the more than 100 members of the local 2175th Military Police Co. with the Missouri National Guard are receiving training to be deployed to Qatar in late summer, according to Capt. Shane Spellman, company commander.


    • email print
  • Most of the more than 100 members of the local 2175th Military Police Co. with the Missouri National Guard are receiving training to be deployed to Qatar in late summer, according to Capt. Shane Spellman, company commander.
    Qatar is by Saudi Arabia, and the MPs will be on a security mission, guarding bases, Spellman said.
    Lt. Joseph Moore of Monticello, the 2175th media representative, said “all of them are excited and looking forward to serving the country and being deployed.”
    The soldiers live in both the Hannibal and Moberly areas, Spellman said, and regularly meet once a month.
    “We will take the majority of our group,” to Qatar, he said. Although they expect to be deployed for a year, some of the soldiers will have an opportunity to come home for two weeks during the year.
    All will have access to their families through the Internet, Spellman said. “As much as possible we have Internet access. And we will have access to telephone and mail service non-stop.”
    In addition to conference calls regarding the pending deployment, the MPs will “be doing some high-intensity warrior drills, weapon qualifications and physical fitness training,” he said.
    This will be Spellman’s eighth deployment and he is looking forward to leading the MPs. He is not alone in having served several deployments, he said. “A lot have done multiple rotations, and some are less than one year.”
    While they are away, they are well-supported at home, he added. “We have an incredible support group.”
    Hundreds attend
    Family Fun Day
    The MPs were joined by hundreds of family members and friends on Sunday, June 5, at a Family Fun Day hosted by their Family Readiness Group at the National Guard Armory in Hannibal.
    Among the large families present were E5 Joel Combs and his wife, Sheila, of Hannibal, and six children. Destyni Combs, 14, had especially enjoyed the spookle races. Sheila said the other children liked the water balloons, gunny sack races, and “just hanging out with the other kids.” This will be Joel’s second deployment. He previously served in Iraq.
    Angela Spellman, wife of Capt. Spellman of Columbia, Mo., was busy with their four children, Camery, 8; Addison, 6; Tristan, 4; and Rilen, 2. They had enjoyed the water gun fights, relays and bounce house, Angela said.
    Jeanne Zerbonia, lead volunteer with the Family Readiness Group, estimated nearly 400 people were gathered for the fun day. “It was so nice to have so many family members here,” she said. “There were not just wives and kids, but parents and grandparents and friends - whoever they invited. Sheila Combs did a fabulous job with the games.”
    Zerbonia also thanked the Patriot Guard riders with the American Legion, who “provided the meat and cooked it for us. It’s been wonderful.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Adding “the National Guard is not a weekend unit,” she said. “They are training constantly, either for state emergencies or federal overseas deployment.
    “We have a great Family Readiness Group here,” she added. “During deployment we meet or have phone conferences every month.”
    As the festivities were ending, the MPs were called to formation to be officially dismissed. The formation was led by flag bearer Spc. Matthew Sutor and “rock bearer” Pvt. Brent Saale. Why rock bearer? This dates back to a previous deployment several years ago in Haiti, when 1st Sgt. Bobby Richards accidentally left his duffle bag unlocked. The MPs put a heavy rock in it, and the rock has stayed with the 2175th company since that time.
    As the soldiers prepare for deployment, the Family Readiness Group is doing a special T-shirt sale to support them. Nancy Lovercheck, wife of training NCO Sgt. Jason Lovercheck, invited anyone interested in ordering a T-shirt to call the armory at (573) 221-4471.
    The T-shirts cost between $10 and $16, depending on size and sleeve length. “We are sending off an order in a week and may do a second order later,” she said. “The first order will be ready” before the soldiers are deployed.
     

        calendar