columbus senator being deployed to Iraq, says NO to lawmaker deferment COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A state senator has announced he's headed to the Persian Gulf as the leader of his Ohio Army National Guard unit. Columbus Republican Steve Stivers, the commander of the Columbus-based 237th Personnel Services Batallion, leaves next month for a deployment in support of the war in Iraq. He said security rules prevent him from providing more details or saying where he'll be based. His unit keeps track of soldiers in the field, the awarding of medals and contact with families at home. Stivers, 39, was appointed to the Senate in January 2003 and is running for election to the seat this November. Stivers joined the Army National Guard 19 years ago. He was eligible for a lawmaker's deferment but said he never considered not going. "I always knew that mobilization was a possibility, and now the time has come," Stiver said. Word of deployment came as the U.S. military death toll in Iraq topped the 1,000 mark. "No soldier loves war too much, because soldiers pay the ultimate price in war," Stivers said.