Local VFW Commander called to active duty

Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

Mike LaDuke has served as an active member of the New Prague community. Beginning this July, he will be serving the United States with the Army National Guard.

LaDuke is a sergeant with the 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry, based in Mankato. He will be serving in Kosovo, in southeastern Europe. His unit will be part of NATO's (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Kosovo Force. NATO is currently leading some 16,000 international forces in the area. The main focus of the Kosovo Force is on building a secure environment where people can live in peace.

LaDuke, who works for the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), found out in April he had been activated and is scheduled to serve for one year. He has requested a leave of absence from his job. He said the state has been very supportive of employees who are in the Armed Forces.

It's a mixed feeling

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