165th Deploys About a Hundred

Early this morning, the 165th Airlift Wing had its biggest deployment to the Persian Gulf. These Guardsmen will meet up with those who left last week. So far, about a fourth of the 165th is either overseas or on the way. The fuel cell hanger at the 165th Airlift Wing was filled with emotion as families and friends said goodbye to more than 100 Guardsmen leaving for the gulf.

"During our marriage, we haven't had this he hasn't deployed before, it's the first time for us as a family," Kim Clay, who's husband is deploying. So the Clays put "Operation Daddy" to work. "Grant makes little gifts for his dad," Kim said. "We're saving it all in a 'daddy box' we're calling it, for when he comes home they can share it."

The Guardsmen are leaving during a time when decisions are critical for the US.

"Apprehensive I guess, but I also know it's necessary, so whatever's necessary I do it," Freddie Goldwire of Savannah said. Goldwire has been deployed before, but his wife and daughter say this time it's different. The Goldwires have a son who is also deployed. He has been gone for a month, and the ladies say they will pray and keep themselves busy.

"Well I am the president of the Savannah Federation of Teachers, so that keeps me busy," said Alfreda Goldwire.

With a slew of support, the Guardsmen boarded the buses which began their trip to the Persian Gulf. Spokesmen for the 165th Airlift Wing say this is the last major deployment for now. No word on when they'll be coming home.

Reported by: Kim Angelastro, kangelastro@wtoc.com