MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The war in Iraq includes many Alabama National Guard members. In fact, the Alabama Army National Guard has had the nation's third-highest number of deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan since the September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks.
According to Guard figures, some 7,200 Alabama Army Guard soldiers have been deployed in and around Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11.
Only populous Texas and California have had a higher number of deployments. Texas, according to National Guard Bureau numbers, has
had 8,619, while California has had 8,182.
Lt. Col. Jim Hawkins, the Alabama Army Guard's training officer, called the deployment number "a stellar reflection" on the state Army Guard's "patriotism and dedication" since the 9/11 attacks.
He says it's particularly telling when you realize that during this same period, the Alabama Guard served over 12,000 man-hours in support of Hurricane Ivan recovery, over 70,000 man-hours in support of post-Katrina operations and more during hurricanes Dennis and Rita and the Enterprise tornado.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)