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Local Guard troops deployed to bases

Tim Willert

National Guard troops based in Glendale and Burbank will leave

behind their families and civilian lives today in the name of

homeland defense.


The troops will supplement security at Air Force bases throughout

California, Army National Guard spokesman Tom Mullen said Friday.

“I think it’s important for people to remember that we still have

a significant possible threat in this country, and we should be


prepared for that,” Mullen said.

An undisclosed number of troops from the 578th Engineer Battalion,

40th Infantry Division of the California Army National Guard are

scheduled to depart from the Glendale armory on Colorado Street at

9:30 a.m.

At 4 p.m., members of the 144th Field Artillery of the 40th

Infantry Division will depart from the Burbank armory on Valhalla



“I think everybody is pretty enthusiastic about going,” said Maj.

Jeff Antone of Ontario, who will leave from Burbank.

“I look forward to serving my country.”

Antone and his wife were remodeling their home when he received

his orders.

“She’ll finish putting the house back together,” he said.

The troops will report to Ft. Lewis, Wash., just south of Tacoma,

for training before being assigned. They could be away from home for


a year or longer, Mullen said.

Robert Owens, 19, a combat engineer from Oxnard, will be among

those departing from Glendale.

“We’ve got a job to do,” said Owens, who is suspending his college

studies for service. “Hopefully nothing happens, but if it does,

we’ll be prepared.”

Sgt. Marlon Ramos, a 23-year-old combat engineer from Bakersfield

who is stationed in Glendale, is leaving behind a wife and

6-month-old daughter.

“The toughest part will be being away from my little girl,” said

Ramos, who has three years of active duty under his belt. “My wife

knows what my obligations are, but at the same time, she is afraid of

the unknown.”