Several thousand central Wisconsin soldiers are gearing up to leave this week to train for their latest mission in Iraq. The 32nd Red Arrow Brigade of the Wisconsin National Guard will train for several weeks in Florida, before going to Texas for two months of training specific to their mission.
Among those going is 22-year-old Daren Ratzloff of Marshfield, who's headed back to Iraq for his second mission there, as part of the 1st battalion's 120th field artillery unit. Ratzloff says he's been ready to return ever since he got back from his last tour of duty.
Ratzloff says he enjoys the action the military offers, but "mom" isn't as enthused. Gretchen Ratzloff says she's not exactly thrilled about sending her son back to the war-torn Middle East. Even so, she is proud of his service.
It's the biggest call-up for the National Guard since World War II, with more than 3,400 soldiers getting their affairs in order, and expecting to be gone for at least a year.