In his first Report from Afghanistan, VPR’s Steve
Zind says the controversy surrounding the burning of the Muslim holy book has
been on the minds of Vermont National Guard soldiers, and it’s altered their routines.
Teachers at Hazen Union High School in Hardwick are preparing to help returning students cope with the death of Tristan Southworth, a popular 2007 graduate who was killed during a firefight in Afghanistan over the weekend.
Sgt. Tristan Southworth, 21, and Sgt. Steven Deluzio, 25, of South
Glastonbury, Connecticut, were killed Sunday during a two-hour gunbattle
their unit was attacked by insurgents in an area just west of the border
National Guard soldiers deployed for service in Afghanistan in recent weeks, they’ve received a send off from
hundreds of well wishers. Among them are
the parents of soldiers killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The head of the Vermont National Guard says Vermont soldiers face a difficult, possibly more dangerous,
assignment in Afghanistan. Adjutant
General Michael Dubie says the task has shifted from primarily training Afghan
troops, to more of a combat mission.
In 2004 VPR news spoke with Chris Day, a
Vermont Army National Guardsman leaving for active duty in Kuwait. Five years later, Day – who teaches history at Brattleboro Area Middle School – is about to deploy
again, this time to Afghanistan.