Guardsmen with the 211th Engineer Company sent out a request to their family and friends last week for some spiritual assistance as they began their work in Afghanistan.
Bev Warns of Madison said a soldier with the S.D. National Guard unit had phoned home to ask for persons to pray for them as the guardsmen started their active-duty missions in the southwest Asian country. Warns, the prayer chain chairwoman for St. Peter Lutheran Church in Wentworth, said the call arrived at about 8 p.m. on Nov. 11.
According to Warns, the phone call from Afghanistan requested prayers for the safety, protection and success of the 211th personnel as the National Guard unit started its military mission.
After she received the request, Warns contacted many area churches to spread the word about the request.
The 211th Engineer Company from Madison and DeSmet was ordered earlier this year to complete a 12-month deployment. While in Afghanistan, the guardsmen will conduct operations to eliminate threats to U.S. and allied military forces from mines and other explosive devices. The more than 110 South Dakota guardsmen will perform route clearance operations by detecting roadside bombs. The soldiers will also provide area security that will protect friendly units from enemy attack and deter hostile forces from taking over parts of the country.
The soldiers with the 211th were activated for duty on Sept. 19 and left the next day for five weeks of premobilization training at Ft. McCoy, Wis. After their training was completed, the guardsmen left on Oct. 26 for deployment in Afghanistan.