- The Washington Times - Monday, October 15, 2001

PARKVILLE, Md. (AP) About 300 military police officers from the Maryland National Guard have arrived at an Army base in Georgia, the first state troops on an extended deployment out of state since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Members of the 290th Military Police Company in Parkville, and the 200th Military Police Company and the 115th Military Police Battalion in Salisbury were deployed Saturday to Fort Stewart near Savannah, Ga.
An additional 300 soldiers in companies A, B, and C of the 1st Battalion of the 115th Infantry will leave this morning from armories in Olney, Frederick and Greenbelt. They are headed to Fort Bragg, N.C., and will be deployed to an undisclosed location in the United States.
The soldiers will be on duty for up to two years.
About a third of the military police and infantry soldiers who were called up re-enlisted specifically to be a part of the mission.
"I have mixed feelings," said William D. Crosby Sr., an individual retirement account representative with Mercantile Bank. The Randallstown man has three children under the age of 7. "I'm excited that I get a chance to serve our country, but I have these little ones and my wife who I don't want to leave."
About 90 MPs gathered in the Parkville Armory shortly after 5 a.m. Saturday, dressed in camouflage fatigues and combat boots. They boarded three buses for the 12-hour ride to Georgia. Another 210 military police left from the Salisbury Armory.
"It's still hard to grasp," said Bonita Mack of Randallstown, whose husband, Alvin, is a 12-year veteran with the Baltimore Police Department. "We have two young kids, so this is definitely changing our lives right now."
"But it's something that has to be done, so he's glad to serve in whatever capacity possible," she added.
As the nation's first citizen militia, the National Guard is the oldest of the country's armed forces. Troops are often called upon to battle fires as well as floods and other natural disasters, and to serve as a security force during strikes and riots.
In recent years, Guard troops have been deployed to fight alongside other U.S. units overseas and in peacekeeping missions. More than 63,000 Guardsmen served during the 1991 Persian Gulf war.

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