By: Rebecca Herman
While flipping through channels or sitting in a movie theatre waiting for the feature to begin, the viewer may notice a commercial showing young men and women from different backgrounds working toward a common goal of serving and protecting. The Army National Guard commercial may seem like just another advertisement, but for many this commercial is life.
As advertised, The Army National Guard requires your commitment of one weekend a month and two weeks a year minimum. This allows soldiers to maintain their regular routine of gaining an education, working in career, caring for a family, and other day-to-day activities. In the state of Tennessee there are more than 10,700 National Guard soldiers. The Tennessee Army National Guards unit in Johnson County is Det 1, 776th Maintenance Company.
One of the unique aspects of the National Guard is that soldiers travel to their specific unit depending on the type of work that the unit performs. Some soldiers travel hours in order to get to the National Guard facility that he or she is assigned to. SSG James Greever spoke of a soldier who lived in New York State, but drove to the Johnson County unit because at the time it saved money. However, once gas prices began to rise, the solider changed units and now serves in New York. Greever says that he currently has several soldiers that live outside of Tennessee because of their interest and talents that are necessary to the unit.
This unit is responsible for assisting in emergency situations around the world and in their community. There are only two maintenance units in the state of Tennessee, so the work that is being done is crucial. Through the years the unit has deployed several times as a whole, in small groups, and as individuals. When the 776th ship out their responsibility is inspecting, maintaining, and repairing vehicles and weapons.
While most Johnson County resident associate the 776th with Desert Storm, this unit has been active in years since the Gulf War. In January of 2003, the 776th headed to Fort Campbell in Kentucky to prepare other units across the United States for deployment to Iraq. Then in October of 2008 the unit, itself, was deployed to Iraq. Through their monthly drills and two week training, these soldiers are ready to head out at the drop of a hat.
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