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University of Iowa News Release

April 12, 2006

UI Law Students Adopt National Guard Platoon In Iraq

A group of University of Iowa law students has adopted a platoon of Iowa National Guard soldiers called up for duty in Iraq that includes one of their own.

Andrew Wendling was deployed to Iraq last month as part of the 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry of the Iowa National Guard. A first-year law student from Hudson, Wendling was called up shortly after the fall semester started last year.

To help Wendling and his battalion, the Iowa Student Bar Association and the University of Iowa Veterans' Association are putting together care packages using contributions from law students and anyone else interested in helping. The ISBA is collecting contributions inside the main entrance of the Boyd Law Building from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Friday, April 14.

The drive was organized by Phil Dureza, a first-year law student, and Jennifer Knapp, a third-year law student from Hudson and hometown friend of Wendling. Both Knapp and Wendling are graduates of Hudson High School.

"Andrew is a stand-up guy with a heart of gold, and we wanted to do something to help him out while he's serving in Iraq and also show him how much support he has in the law school community," Dureza said. "We can all appreciate the difficulty in having to put our education aside to be deployed in a war zone."

Among the items being collected are phone cards, dried, non-perishable food items, candy, powdered drink mix, batteries, air fresheners, books, magazines and games.

Knapp said Wendling's unit will help to protect supply convoys in Iraq until it returns in May 2007. Wendling's younger brother Adam is a member of the same battalion.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,