By Senator Howard Marklein
April 12, 2019
Heroes From Our Hometowns Serve on the Southern Border
Legislature recognizes 40 members of the Wisconsin National Guard for service in AZ & NM
The Wisconsin State Assembly has a neat tradition of recognizing Hometown Heroes for remarkable service and contributions to our community. The Hometown Hero award is the highest honor a citizen can be awarded by the legislature. The most recent recognition was for nearly 40 members of the Wisconsin National Guard who were deployed to the country’s southern border.
Five of the Hometown Heroes recognized are from the 17th Senate District! Brett Cargill and Cody Groskruetz, both of Cuba City; Hunter Wiest from Highland; Cole Hamilton and Karen Knock from Richland Center. I was honored and proud to visit with them after they received their awards. We have some tremendous heroes in our communities.
Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers and Airmen volunteer to serve. They make sacrifices to fill vital roles, train and fulfill their missions. Over the last nine months, 189 soldiers and airmen have supported the Southwest Border (SWB) mission in Arizona and New Mexico. 178 WI Army National Guard and 11 WI Air National Guard have filled roles such as radio operators, sensor operators, motor transport maintenance, range safety operators and multiple command and control cells.
The service provided by Wisconsin National Guard members enabled Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents to do their jobs. While they did not directly interact with individuals crossing the border, their support for the CBP allowed the agents to have direct influence on the issues at our southern border. According to the National Guard, the service provided by Wisconsin National Guard members contributed in 12,516 apprehensions and 1,426 turn backs while seizing 8,366 pounds of marijuana and 221 pounds of Methamphetamines along the border.
The talents of Wisconsin National Guard members were needed at the border. They were requested to initiate an Unmanned Aerial System flight operation in New Mexico to support Operation Guardian Support which included air reconnaissance, surveillance and targeting and acquisition missions.
They WI Air National Guard deployed UH60 helicopter support to Arizona where they completed 34 missions, accruing 240 flight hours, confiscating 10 bundles of marijuana and supporting the apprehension of 257 undocumented aliens.
The WI Air National Guard also deployed RC-26 Mission System Operators and Pilots to support reconnaissance missions flying 129 hours, identifying 127 targets and conducting 193 apprehensions.
We are lucky to have these heroes in our community. We are blessed to have them safely return to their families and friends. Thank you to all who have served in our armed forces. We honor your service.
For more information and to connect with me, visit my website http://legis.wisconsin.gov/senate/17/marklein and subscribe to my weekly E-Update by sending an email to Sen.Marklein@legis.wisconsin.gov. Do not hesitate to call 800-978-8008 if you have any questions or need assistance with any state-related matters.