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Ohio National Guard Razes Houses on South Side - The Business Journal

The sound of glass breaking and lumber snapping filled the air on Hudson Avenue Monday as one after another abandoned house was razed. But instead of city-paid contractors leveling the decrepit structures, Ohio National Guardsmen oversaw the demolition. The 1192nd Engineer Co. of the Ohio National Guard is providing the primary support for a two-week demolition campaign on the South Side. Their work is supporting the South Side Blight Removal and Greening effort. “This falls under the umbrella of what we call the Innovative Readiness Training Program,” said Maj. Gen. John C. Harris Jr., Ohio assistant adjutant general. “We leverage opportunities like this to add value to our communities, and it enhances our readiness training for both our federal and state missions.”

The program is part of one of the lesser-known aspects of the mission of the National Guard, Harris said, which is to add value to communities. “It motivates our soldiers because it creates an opportunity to provide a tangible benefit to the community, the assistant adjutant general said. “When our soldiers walk away form this, they know that they’ve done something good for a community.” Harris, city officials and National Guardsmen spoke to reporters at a press event yesterday at the former Sheridan Elementary School, where the troops were assigned for the day. The 1192nd hopes to raze 12 to 14 houses and their lots fully graded by the time the unit leaves July 22, said platoon leader Lt. Josh Walker. “This is a win-win for everyone,” he said. “The city gets cleaned up, and [the soldiers] get to accomplish their mission while we get to train.” The troops are stationed at Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center. They travel to Youngstown and back each day. To read the full story from the Business Journal, click here.