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Missouri Army National Guard Soldiers volunteering a second time to return to Iraq

Written by Specialist Joseph M. Dilley, Unit Public Affairs Representative 1140th Engineer Battalion

Soldiers of the 1140th Engineer Battalion are volunteering to return to Iraq for second tour of duty. The Soldiers will be transferred and serve with the 110th Engineer Battalion for Operation Iraqi Freedom. The 110th Engineer Battalion based out of Kansas City, Missouri, will begin mobilization in early August at Fort Riley, Kansas. The mobilization process will take anywhere from a month to three months before the unit can deploy. The unit will receive new equipment, update military records, and review medical files to ensure all Soldiers are fit for deployment. They will also receive the latest training to prepare all Soldiers for their mission in a hostile environment. Once the entire unit has completed everything necessary for deployment, they will depart the U.S. and head to Iraq.

Sgt. 1st Class Ron Hon assigned to Charlie Company 1140th based out of Sikeston, Portageville, and Charleston, Missouri, is a combat engineer and has been in the military for 27 years. Sgt. 1st Class Hon is currently a full-time technician with Headquarters Detachment 35th Infantry Division in Cape Girardeau, MO. He has been on numerous deployments that include Panama, Honduras, Alaska, Germany and Japan throughout his career. Hon recently returned in March with the 1140th Engineer Battalion for serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom II.

Hon explains why he is volunteering for second deployment since recently returning from Iraq.

“I have already served with the Charlie Company 1140th for many years and have been deployed with them numerous times. I felt I would like to go with the 110th since it’s one of the two units I worked with under the 35th ID.” Hon stated in an interview in Cape Girardeau Armory.

Hon will be a squad leader assigned to Bravo Company in the 110th Engineer Battalion and will serve a full year once again in country. He feels the experience and knowledge he received from this past deployment will help him since he knows what to expect and how to survive.

“I learned a lot about the nature of the people, how they live and their habitat. I know how to deal with and survive such a hot desert environment. I know what it is like over there and can pass what I have learned to other soldiers to help them out,” Hon stated.

Hon plans on retiring within a year when he returns from his second deployment. “This is my opportunity to serve with the 110th before I retire from the Missouri Army National Guard.”

Hon is just one of the soldiers in the 1140th Engineer Battalion going back to Iraq for a second time. Alpha Company 1140th located in Farmington and Fredericktown has five soldiers returning for a second tour and they are: Sgt. 1st Class Michael Smith, Sgt. 1st Class Angell Lewis, Sgt. Darrel Cureton, Spc. Jesse Ryon, Spc. Michael Hensely, and Spc. Jonathan Boyer.

Staff Sgt. Timothy Edger volunteered to return along with Sgt. 1st Class Hon; they both are soldiers with Charlie Company 1140th. These soldiers are all dedicated to serving their country and have a great sense of pride for what they are doing. They have only been home a short time but all these soldiers volunteered to go back.

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