When the members of the 8th Company, Detachment One, of the 128th Infantry division left their homes for a mission in Iraq, it also left a lot of extra space at their armory in Rice Lake. But that space isn't being left vacant; instead the local Head Start Program is putting it to good use.
The Rice Lake early childhood education program was facing the school year without a facility after their lease expired and they were unable to find another location.
Now tables that used to feed hungry troops are feeding hungry tots and a vehicle storage facility has been turned into a playground.
Sgt. Jason Meyers says the kids have been a welcome addition to the previously silent building.
The armory is only a temporary location while officials continue searching for a permanent spot. But the National Guard says the kids are welcome to stay until the troops return next year.