Sunday, September 16, 2001

Coast Guard reservists called to duty

Other branches haven't been notified

By Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Coast Guard began calling up area reservists for duty Saturday, but soldiers in other branches of the military were waiting to hear whether they would be activated.

        Denny Clark, 49, a Cincinnati district fire chief from Delhi Township and Coast Guard reserve chief warrant officer, left the firehouse in Northside Saturday and was packing to leave for New Orleans. He was ordered to report there by Tuesday.

        “The sad part is I've got five little ones at home. I'm leaving my wife in the middle of a remodeling job with the kitchen. I hope she wasn't planning a surprise birthday party for me,” said Mr. Clark. He turns 50 on Sept. 25 and has children ranging in age from 2 to 10.

        Mr. Clark suspected the activation was imminent Thursday when he received a call from his commander in the Ohio Valley group based in Louisville.

        “It was to make sure my phone numbers were current. They wanted to know if I was ready. My response is "I'm always ready,'” said Mr. Clark, a chief warrant officer and member of the reserves since 1973.

        President Bush on Friday declared a national emergency and authorized the military to activate 50,000 reservists for homeland defense and recovery missions.

        National Guard units in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana had not been activated Saturday.

        The news was the same for some other branches of the military. Capt. Michael Stella, public affairs officer for the Army's 88th Regional Support Command, said he's not aware of any reservists being activated in Ohio or Indiana.

        Charlie Pangburn, a 46-year-old Fort Mitchell lawyer and colonel in the Marine Corps reserves, said reservists would be activated based on specialty, rank or overall need. He specializes in artillery, law and field communication.

        “It's hard to predict if you will be called. I don't know and I don't think anyone knows. But I think we're always ready to go if it happens,” Mr. Pangburn said.

        The Louisville Courier-Journal and the Associated Press contributed to this report.


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