More N.J. National Guard members headed overseas

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:49

    Another 250 New Jersey Army National Guard members are being mobilized for active duty service, but they are headed to Europe instead of Iraq. The soldiers, based out of the armories in Morristown and Toms River, will report to their home stations in October. After three days there, the units will deploy to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., for mobilization training before being sent to Europe. "We tell them to anticipate a total of 12 to 18 months, and normally the mission itself is about 12 months," Lt. Col. Roberta Niedt said. Between 65 and 70 percent of the Army National Guard members from New Jersey will be mobilized by this fall, Niedt said. Some 1,400 soldiers are currently at their mobilization stations and are expected to deploy sometime in the fall. In addition, the New Jersey Army National Guard currently has between 600 and 700 troops in the Middle East and another 650 in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The New Jersey Guard suffered four combat deaths in a two-day period back in June. The soldiers were the first New Jersey Guard members to be killed in Iraq. Spc. Christopher M. Duffy, 26, of Brick Township, was killed in an attack that also claimed the life of Sgt. Frank Carvill, 51, of Carlstadt, officials said. Three other New Jerseyans were injured in that attack. Spc. Ryan Doltz, 26, of Mine Hill, and Humberto Timoteo, 25, of Newark, died the following day after a roadside bomb hit their armored vehicle. Niedt said there is "probably a mixture of feelings" among the soldiers now headed to Europe instead of Iraq. Some feel strongly in support of the war and would choose going there over any other operation. "While there's always some degree of anxiety, there's also a great sense of pride and desire to serve in the region where the war is actually going on, she said.