The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

October 6, 2012

A kiss before Kuwait

Mission in Middle East nears for Guardsmen


By Karen Blackledge

The Daily Item


DANVILLE — Bryan Laubach, of New Columbia, was among 40 National Guardsmen from the Danville Armed Forces Reserve Center who Saturday night attended a sendoff dinner before a yearlong deployment that includes nine months in Kuwait.

Laubach, 42, expects his fifth deployment overseas to be more low-key.

“In Afghanistan, I was shot at,” said Laubach, a “mortar man” and National Guardsman since 2003.

About 1,600 soldiers from the Pennsylvania National Guard will be deployed. The 55th Brigade, with headquarters in Scranton, will contribute about 240 soldiers from units in Pennsylvania and Virginia, Brown said.

Sgt. Stefan Eisenhower, 21, of Northumberland, will be making his first deployment.

“They trained us up pretty well and as much as they can,” Eisenhower said. “I don’t feel nervous.”

His girlfriend, Kaitlyn Clark, of Springville, N.Y., accompanied him to the dinner on Saturday night.

“I knew it would be a different experience with us being apart for a whole year,” she said, “and not knowing what to expect.”



Read more of this story in Sunday’s edition of The Daily Item.