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Reserve unit leaves Thursday

Community residents are invited to line the streets of Ellsworth to show their support for members of the U. S. Army Reserve 652nd Engineer Company as they leave for Fort McCoy Thursday.

Village President Jerry DeWolfe was working hastily Monday to help arrange a sendoff for the unit, which was mobilized that day.

DeWolfe said the unit's first trucks will leave at 10 a.m. Thursday. The second group will leave at 10:30 a.m.

"We want to get as many of the community together to line the streets and wish them well," said DeWolfe. He urged people to gather between 9 and 10 a.m.

A briefing for families of the soldiers will start at 8:30 a.m.

Although he couldn't say how many soldiers have been called up, Capt. Dean Kasparek, the unit's commander, said the 652nd has an authorized strength of 183. The unit is a bridge-building company.

"The unit is coming together and preparing to head on to the next station," said Kasparek Monday.

Neither he nor a spokesman from the public relations office at Fort Snelling could say where the unit will be sent when it leaves Fort McCoy.

"With terrorist activity in the world today, we cannot release that information," said Spec. Tony Lindback.