Newshour: Illinois National Guard Deaths

A look at the 1544th Army National Guard unit out of Paris, IL. Community members talk about the losses suffered and their support for the troops.

0:20Copy video clip URL Footage of a ceremony in a high school gym for the 1544th Army National Guard unit. Elizabeth Bracket explains the significance of the unit to Paris, IL. Shots of yellow ribbons and signs of support around the town. Brackett explains more about the unit’s function within the National Guard and their deployment to Iraq.

1:24Copy video clip URL Craig Smith, Mayor of Paris, talks about the town’s initial opinions concerning their deployment. “People weren’t worried. When the Guard left we thought ‘here’s a transportation unit’… we were thinking it was a supply group taking things from point a to point b.” Brackett talks about the dangers associated with transportation units and the losses the 1544th has suffered.

2:33Copy video clip URL Smith talks more about the effects of the deaths on the town. “You’re in Paris, IL, but you feel it every day because every day I see somebody who has a child over there.” Bracket explains that many members of the Guard came right out of high school.

3:25Copy video clip URL The Morrison Family. They lost a daughter in Iraq, and her parents talk about the support they received from the Paris community. They continue to talk about the war, and whether US troops should be in Iraq at all.

5:18Copy video clip URL Community members give their feelings about the war. Footage from a memorial service for the 5 soldiers who lost their lives. Smith expresses his desire for the 1544th to come home.

6:22Copy video clip URL Brackett talks to Aaron, a Guard member who is home on medical leave.

7:56Copy video clip URL Sergeant Scott Johnson talks about the 1544th’s role in Iraq, and his support for his unit.

8:25Copy video clip URL Jim Cooper, head of a family support group, talks about his efforts to make the missions safer for the 1544th regiment.

9:45Copy video clip URL Lieutenant Colonel Robert Mayberry discusses the 1544th’s return date. “Nothing is solid until you see your soldier… it’s not over until your son or daughter is sitting in your living room talking to you.”

 

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