Third Infantry Division Deployment Orders - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

12/31/02

Third Infantry Division Deployment Orders

The entire Third Infantry Division is being deployed from Hunter Army Airfield and Fort Stewart. This kind of massive deployment hasn't happened since the Gulf War in 1990. It was a move that left some lasting affects on the city. Many people remember Hinesville turning into a ghost town then; some businesses have feared another.

"The Army wasn't really prepared and neither was our community for a gigantic deployment," recalled business owner and former mayor Allen Brown. "Business suffered. I'm in real estate and rentals; two thirds became vacant. We're used to only five percent being vacant."

Hinesville was virtually empty. Many business owners lost their businesses altogether. But Brown feels confident that won't happen again.

"Obviously we'll feel it, but not like before," he said.

Hinesville has grown by nearly 50 percent since the last full deployment, and they're hoping they learned from their mistakes.

"The military and community will work to support families to keep them here," said Brown.

For now, their main concern is what the next mission at hand will be.

"Our first concern is not our business," said Brown. "Our first concern is that these are our friends and our neighbors that are going to war. They're going into harm's way and we just want them to return without causalities."

Military officials are not releasing where these troops are being deployed to at this time.

Reported by: Holly Bristow, hbristow@wtoc.com

 

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