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OUR HEROES AT WAR

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Unit 384 Officers prepare for final sendoff on Monday, March 17, 2003 during their working lunch at Azars Restaurant.Across the country, military families and friends reacted to the start of war with a mix of fear and hope that their loved ones would soon return. On Saturday, March 15th, Sunday 16th, and Monday 17th Azars Restaurant in Waynedale welcomed hundreds of men and women from Unit 384 Reserve, a company that is headquartered here in Fort Wayne. These heroes are from the Military Police and Medic Units. They were mobilized on March 15th and moved out at noon on Tuesday, March 18th.

The mood was contemplative and serious as Unit 384 officers prepared for their final sendoff on Monday. US Army 1st Lieutenant Michael Rutherford from Granville, Ohio is in charge of this unit. During the officers working lunch, Rutherford said, "Our duty as military police is guarding enemy prisoners. We will be feeding, clothing, escorting the prisoners." Rutherford mentioned that there will be more training and focus on their chemical equipment before deployment. His unit is ordered to active duty for 365 days.

Azars has two employees that are currently deployed. Kevin Jennings, a cook and Tracy Metz, a manager. Their co-workers will fill in for them while they are away, not knowing how long that may be. "And no matter what", said John Ferrise of Azars Restaurant in Waynedale, "they will have a spot open for them when they return." According to the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, employers must reinstate workers who are called for service.

Support for Tracy, Kevin and our troops was shown in Waynedale before they left to fight for our freedom. These wonderful men and women will be coming home, but not until they know that it is going to be safe for us here in America. God Bless our Troops. We Salute You—Our Heroes!

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