By Kristen Miller
DASSEL, MN - Alvin Ploog, a 2008 Dassel-Cokato graduate, will be deploying to Afghanistan in October as part of the US Marine Corps.
“Growing up, my parents instilled having pride for your country,” Ploog said, who is the son of Pat and Bru Ploog of Dassel.
He joined the military partly to do something for his country, but Sept. 11, 2001 had a big impact on his decision, as well.
After graduating high school, Ploog went to boot camp in June 2008, and graduated from training in September.
Last November, Ploog went to the US Marine Corps school of infantry in California and graduated in December.
Since then, Ploog has been preparing for deployment to Afghanistan.
For the past month, Ploog and his unit, based out of Camp Lejuene in Jacksonville, NC, have been in the Mojave Desert, training for the situations and climate they will endure in Afghanistan.
When he arrives, Ploog and his Fleet Marine Force, Unit 22 Fox Company (2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment), will be working to clear the area and meet with the native people to learn more about the Taliban.
Their mission will be more about helping the Afghan people, not invasion, Ploog explained.
“I’m extremely excited to go and do what I’ve been trained to do,” Ploog said, while admitting he is a little apprehensive after hearing reports on the number of casualties and serious injuries.
With the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Regiment, Ploog will be taking over the 2nd Battalion, 8th Regiment, which in the last two months, had 16 casualties, the majority from improvised explosive devises (IED), according to Ploog.
As can be expected, his parents are a bit apprehensive and scared, too, but are very proud of him.
“We are 100 percent behind him,” said his mother, Bru.
Ploog is scheduled to be home for about two weeks before he deploys in mid-October for a seven- to eight-month tour.
Open House for Alvin Ploog, Sat., Sept. 26
There will be an open house for Alvin Ploog Saturday, Sept. 26, beginning at 3 p.m., at 119 Galigers Lane in Dassel.
The event is open to the public. Visitors are being asked to bring a personal item or cash to donate to Ploog’s unit, which has been instructed to supply three months worth of their own.