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BAGHDAD ? Since Hurricane Katrina roared ashore, National Guard troops from Gulf Coast states serving in Iraq have followed the disaster, worried about families and friends back home.There are, of course, thousands of Guard, reserve, and active duty forces on scene or mustering for deployment to the Gulf Coast even now.
"It's a significant emotional event. Their families are on the forefront of the disaster," said Lt. Col. Jordan Jones of the 141st Field Artillery of the Louisiana National Guard.
Asked how his troops felt being in Iraq while their state was in such difficulty, Jones replied: "Well, we all know our primary mission is the federal one.
"The secondary mission is to serve at the pleasure of the governor in disaster relief and other missions," said Jones, 44, who works for a company that manages the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
National Guard troops in Louisiana have been busy rescuing people from the deluge.
But it's a cruel irony that some of these soon to be returning GIs might have a homecoming without the home.