This has to be a very poignant and emotional holiday season for the members of the 222nd Field Artillery Battalion of the Utah National Guard. They’ll soon be off to war! Indeed, their mission could include dangerous infantry combat in Iraq.
The 222nd is headquartered in Cedar City. Batteries of the unit are stationed in Beaver, Richfield and St. George and the 475 Battalion members come from many of the surrounding towns. They’ll soon leave their families, jobs and civic duties for 18-months of full-time military service.
In short, the call up of the “Triple Deuce,” as the unit is sometimes called, will dramatically and disproportionately impact life throughout Central and Southern Utah.
Early next week a handful of officers will head out to Camp Shelby, Mississippi, to get things ready for the arrival of the bulk of the unit on January 24. There the soldiers will hone their artillery skills, but also become trained in rifle infantry warfare. By early summer, they’re expected to be on the ground in Iraq.
So, in the midst of this holiday season, KSL thinks of the men and women of the 222nd and the danger they are about to face. We urge all Utahns to keep the soldiers, their families and their communities in their thoughts and prayers. And we wish them well on their challenging mission.