Iowa National Guard Soldiers notified of potential mobilization - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa National Guard Soldiers notified of potential mobilization

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by Danielle Wagner

WATERLOO (KWWL) A call of duty for 3500 soldiers from the Iowa National Guard. Troops are being alerted for potential mobilization to Afghanistan.

Iowa's 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, is expected to deploy units for up to 12 months, with most of that time spent in Afghanistan.

The National Guard said some soldiers may not mobilize due to recent deployments. The potential mobilization is expected to be the largest single unit call up of the Iowa National Guard since World War II.

Approximately 57 subordinate units from more than 30 Iowa communities were alerted for potential deployment. The communities alerted in our viewing area include Cedar Rapids, Charles City, Dubuque, Iowa City, Iowa Falls and Oelwein.

We spoke with Ashley Leistikow of Waterloo. Her husband of nearly three years has been to Egypt and Iraq. He was part of the First/133rd when the tour of duty got extended. Now he's part of the First/133rd Company "C" in Oelwein.

Ashley Leistikow found out several days ago her husband Shawn could be deployed again. He found out while on weekend guard duty at Camp Dodge and called to give her the news.

"I was so mad at first and then I just started crying and I couldn't help it. I cried myself to sleep both nights until he got home. I just don't know what to do," said Ashley Leistikow.

From what Leistikow understands, official orders will come in about six months. But knowing her husband could leave will be on her mind everyday.

"It's not a hundred percent, but the way the things are going, at least for us, I treat it as one hundred percent because I have kids I have to get ready," she said.

Leistikow said her husband's last tour of duty in Iraq was very difficult on her and their son Connor. Now, they have two sons to worry about. Chase will be two and Connor will be six when their dad leaves. She said it will be difficult being Mom and Dad.

"Connor's at the age I want to rough house with Dad. In first grade he's supposed to get to do flag football and they were supposed to do that together," said Ashley Leistikow.

Leistikow said several of her husband's friends have been injured while serving, and it's scary knowing that's a possibility.

"We look at the news everyday, and it's another U.S. soldier died and Afghanistan is getting so bad. You know it would be bad enough bringing back again trying to get him involved with the kids again, but not having him home at all. It's always a fear," she said.

If or when her husband leaves, Leistikow just plans to spend as much time with him as possible.

Ashley Leistikow is also working to help start a type of support group for students whose parents are deployed. Now that her oldest son is in school, she wants to make sure his grades don't slip and he knows he's not alone.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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