CLYDE -- North Carolina National Guard's 211th Military Police Company’s mobilization ceremony was held Sunday, Sept. 22, in the auditorium of Haywood Community College in Clyde. More than 120 soldiers will deploy to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Their mission is to conduct facility security operations at one of the major military bases there.
The unit will be deployed for approximately one year and will conduct follow-on training at Fort Bliss, Texas, before going to Afghanistan later this fall. This will be the unit's second deployment to Afghanistan since 2002. The 211th has been deployed previously in support of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990 and Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.
Domestically, the 211th MP's assisted in disaster relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and most recently supported the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte in 2012. The MPs have received a Meritorious Unit Citation and the North Carolina Governor's Unit Citation for outstanding performance.
“No matter what, the Mountain Horses are always ready,” said the unit’s commander, Army Capt. David Parks.
Student Government leaders, college staff and children tied yellow ribbons to trees and hammered dozens of flags along the road leading to the auditorium.
Holding flags about half his size, the 9-year-old son of Barbara Stuteville, HHC student government vice-president, helped his mother and others place them along the road for the ceremony. “They are going to Afghanistan and we should show them some respect,” said her son.
“It is an honor that so many are here to see them off to war,” said Clyde Mayor Jerry Walker.