More Troops Deploy - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

01/20/03

More Troops Deploy

After months of preparation, hundreds more soldiers from Hunter Army Airfield and Fort Stewart's Third Infantry Division are heading to Kuwait. These routine deployments are anything but routine for soldiers and their families. At It doesn't seem to matter who you are or what rank you've earned, these brave soldiers will not hesitate to let their guards down and tell you that leaving home is never easy. Especially for the soldiers who have fought in previous wars.

"This time I have to say goodbye to family, and before I didn't have to, so it's pretty tough," said SFC William Willen

But before these soldiers head out, a small group of them gathered for one last time on American soil and pray for the families that they leave behind, their fellow soldiers and for strength.

"It's something that's inevitable and you know that it's coming," Col. Bill Weber told us.

As hundreds of soldiers continue to deploy throughout the rest of the week, it pretty much becomes routine. They line up and head out and more and more families are left here alone without their loved one.

"Anxiety about missing family and friends, that's the main thing, and not knowing what to expect," said Maj. John Chadbourne.

To help ease that anxiety, volunteers were there to see soldiers off to let them know their efforts are being supported here at home.

"Fort Stewart soldiers are the best and the brightest," said Congressman Jack Kingston. "If there's any fear it should be on the part of the Iraqis."

"We hope to be back soon, but only time will tell, and I want to assure everyone we'll do a great job when we get there," said Col. Weber. "And hopefully it won't take too long if we're called upon, and we'll get on back home."

Volunteer groups like the USO need your help, as they've run out of some supplies like bottled water and other toiletries. If you'd like to help, call Mitchell Bush at (912) 667-6242 or Ellen Snedeker at (912) 897-4764.

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com

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