Guard leaders expect large-scale deployment

03/19/08 5:00PM By Patti Daniels

(Host) The commander of the Vermont National Guard says the force is expecting a "large-scale deployment" to the Middle East within the next two years.

Over the past five years, more than half of Vermont's 4,000 Guard members have served in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other areas in the Middle East and Asia.

Major General Michael Dubie says he's preparing for the Pentagon to call up Vermonters again.

The possibility of repeat deployments poses a challenge to some soldiers. Staff Sergeant Alaria O'Brien helps veterans get the services they need to readjust to civilian life.

O'Brien says the ability to cope with battlefield experiences affects how soldiers acclimate to life at home. She says that process can be harder for soldiers who face another potential deployment:

(O'Brien) "Some people, right now in our state, it is in their vested interest that they not get completely over it. Because they may still have other deployments that they may be going on. We're not done with this. So it's important that they hang onto those skills and those mindsets that they learned over there the first time."

(Host) The Veterans and Family Readiness program works to inform veterans about services that are available to them, include counseling and medical services.

There's a toll-free number that veterans and their families can call for help in Vermont: 888-607-8773

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