About 1,600 troops from Fort Stewart are leaving Hunter Army Airfield, bound for the Middle East. But today was a little different as they had a special guest, Congressman Max Burns, who spoke with soldiers, wishing them well. WTOC spoke with him, and with soldiers, about the ongoing massive military buildup.
"We're talking about home, we're talking about family and wives and things that they care about and love," Burns said.
That is the common thread that binds these men and women. Each one leaves family and friends behind, but is ready to answer the call.
"I'm a little bit nervous," PFC Jeffery Titus admitted. "I don't know what to expect, but hopefully I'll just go over, see what's going on, and do what I have to do."
"They're making a personal sacrifice for us," said Burns. "And we need to honor them by providing them with our support."
"The pain that I feel for my family is caused by, number one, I hate leaving them like this, but I'm prepared to do any mission possible to provide for my family," said Sgt. Marvin Foreman.
Capt. O'Brien's wife will deliver their first child in less than three weeks, without him.
"Of course there's nothing I want more than to be with my wife and my daughter as she comes into the world," he said, "but this is my duty and I've trained with this company for a long time, we're a good team and so we're ready for it."
Over the next week, an additional 5,000 to 6,000 soldiers from Hunter and Fort Stewart will be on their way to the Persian Gulf. Planes will be taking off all night all throughout the week, and they expect to have the entire Third Infantry Division deployed by the end of the month.