The day began on a festive note, like a huge Brewers tailgate party with bratwurst and cookies and the National Guard's band playing everything from the "The Liechtensteiner Polka" to Steely Dan tunes. But as the two commercial planes arrived to carry the soldiers away, the mood grew decidedly more anxious. The soldiers heard speeches by their commanders promising the best body armor and fighting equipment.
There were prayers for their safety, well wishes and a few sky-high dreams.
OUR NEIGHBORS AT WAR. The 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery of the Wisconsin National Guard ships out.