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Wisconsin Guard battalion is nation's best

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following article was submitted for publication in the Herald by Jackie Kimber, long-time Prescott resident now living in Sayner. Kimber is the mother of and Wayne is the father of Dustin, who is a member of the battalion discussed in the article. Several other residents of this area are also members. The 32nd Red Arrow Brigade is led by Colonel Steven Bensend of Prescott.

A Wisconsin Army National Guard infantry battalion currently serving on active duty in Iraq has been selected as the top battalion in the nation's National Guard.

Eau Claire-based 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry, is receiving the Walter T. Kerwin Jr. Award for Readiness and Training as the outstanding National Guard unit for 2009. The award is being presented at the annual meeting of the Association of the United States Army in Washington, D.C.

First Battalion, 128th Infantry, is now in Iraq, about midway through a one-year mobilization that began in February.

"This is one of those things that happens when you least expect it," said Lt. Col. Leland Ward, the battalion commander. "All I know for sure is this is something that no one individual can claim. It is the collective effort of everyone from the soldiers of the battalion to the leadership at the 32nd Brigade and state headquarters," Ward said in an email from


For more please read the Oct. 21 print version of the Herald.