Soldiers prepare for possible deployment

Published 7:52 am Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Spc. Curtis Musolf, left, and Ssg. Charles Pinkava will be among 2,400 Minnesota National Guard members preparing for deployment to the Middle East in the coming months. - Eric Johnson/

As more than 2,400 Minnesota National Guard members prepare for deployment halfway around the world in the next coming months, some guards with the 1135th Combat Support Company stationed in Austin are getting ready with them.

“I’m actually looking forward to it,” Staff Sgt. Charles Pinkava of Austin said. Pinkava has served in the National Guard for 22 years and has twice before been deployed; to Iraq in 2004 and to Kosovo in 2007. “To serve again overseas, I’ve been doing what I’ve been trained to do. … It’s a good opportunity to do a lot more.”

National Guard members are still being notified on the mission and training for each person. Some members will have to wait until training begins in May before they know for sure whether they’re being deployed. Austin’s National Guard unit isn’t one of the units scheduled to deploy, but members who are attached to other companies, like Pinkava and Spc. Curtis Musolf of Dodge Center will go.

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Musolf has worked with livestock on a farm for most of his life, and although he’s been with the Guard for five years, he hasn’t yet seen deployment. He joined the National Guard for the education benefits and hopes to take online college courses while he’s overseas.

“I was thinking about getting started with school over there, get started and knock out some of (the general requirements),” Musolf said. “And when I get home I have the ambition to keep going.”

Yet despite the benefits of being a National Guard member, many continue to serve to help their country, as Spc. Falynn Lane of the HHC 134th Brigade Support Battalion in Little Falls.

“I feel like I’m helping someone out every day, and being here to help support my soldiers,” Lane said. “I’m actually excited to go over there, to be able to support the people in Kuwait.”

Pinkava, Musolf and Lane don’t know how long they’ll be over, but they’re ready to stay for as long as possible.

“My wife’s all right with it,” Pinkava said. “We’ve been through it before two other times. I guess the first time’s the hardest … but the second time is a little easier and this time when we found out about the possibility, we started to get our stuff in line to deploy.”