Six local soldiers have been activated to serve their country as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
U.S. Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Nathan L. Roe, Staff Sgt. Jason G. Hawkins, Spec. Andrew D. Wiglesworth, Staff Sgt. Jerry D. Sipe, Spec. Milton A. Buckner and Pvt. Kelly B. Slade have been mobilized and activated at Fort McCoy, Sparta, Wis., for deployment overseas to a forward operating base in Iraq.
They are members of the 201st Engineer Battalion in Cynthiana.
Roe is a readiness superintendent with 17 years of military service. He is the son of Wallace and Sue Roe of Paris. His wife, Karen, is the daughter of Jerry and Linda Wright of Dennis Lane, Cynthiana. The sergeant is a 1990 graduate of Bourbon County High School.
Hawkins is a squad leader with 12 years of military service. His wife, Elizabeth, is the daughter of Bob and Jenny Mussman of Paris. The staff sergeant is a 1997 graduate of Harrison County High School.
Wiglesworth is a combat engineer with seven years of military service. He is the son of David D. and Linda G. Wiglesworth of Cynthiana. He and his wife, Maureen, have two children, Kami and D.A. The specialist is a 1988 graduate of Harrison County High School.
Sipe is a combat engineer with 13 years of military service. He is the son of Gary E. Sipe of Cynthiana, Ky., and Wanda A. Hensley of Paris. The staff sergeant is a 1989 graduate of Harrison County High School.
Buckner is a combat engineer with five years of military service. He is the son of Terry L. Buckner of Georgetown, Ky., and Allan W. Buckner of Campbellsville, Ky. His wife, Jennifer, is the daughter of Graddy Perry of Cynthiana, and Kristian Cable of Georgetown.
Slade is a combat engineer with seven years of military service. He is the son of Carl W. and Patsy G. Slade of Cynthiana. The private is a 2001 graduate of Harrison County High School.
Operation Iraqi Freedom is the official name given to military operations involving members of the U.S. armed forces and coalition forces participating in efforts to free and secure Iraq.
Mission objectives focus on force protection, peacekeeping, stabilization, security and counter-insurgency operations as the Iraqi transitional governing bodies assume full sovereign powers to govern the peoples of Iraq.
Members from all branches of the U.S. military and multinational forces are also assisting in rebuilding Iraq's economic and governmental infrastructure, and training and preparing Iraqi military and security forces to assume full authority and responsibility in defending and preserving Iraq's sovereignty and independence as a democracy.