Marine Reservists Deploy - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

03/13/03

Marine Reservists Deploy

This morning, 25 Marines from the Fourth Landing Support Battalion left for Camp Pendleton, California. Even though they're staying in the United States, it's not easy leaving their families behind. Over the last few months, we have seen thousands of troops move out from Hunter Army Airfield, and each one of these men and women are making incredible sacrifices to serve their country.

Corporal Thomas Farmer and his wife Casey are newlyweds who pushed up their wedding when they learned Thomas was being deployed.

"Our wedding was actually for this Saturday on the 15th, so everything was planned, everything was ready," said Casey.

Then, everything changed.

"It's been pretty busy," said Thomas. "I had to rush a wedding and get packed for a deployment in about three days."

With help from family, they pulled it off.

"Thanks to our parents and my mother, they planned the wedding in two days, so we were able to have our actual ceremony, so that was good," said Casey.

The honeymoon will have to wait.

"Well, the Marines are sending me on my honeymoon," said Thomas.

The Marines boarded a bus for a flight to Camp Pendleton. There, they'll reinforce the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. They have orders for a year, but they could be gone longer. That's making it tough for Sandy Sapp, who's saying goodbye to her son, Scott.

"I'm nervous, but I'm proud of him, very, very proud," she said.

She has reason to be. Scott has made plenty of sacrifices and not just as a Marine Reservist. He gave his 19-year-old brother, who was born with Alport's Syndrome, a kidney last year.

"We knew a long time ago that it was going to come to that eventually," said Scott. "And I always said that I wanted to be the one to do it, if I could."

As these young Reservists depart for California, their families have heavy hearts, but hearts also filled with pride.

"I couldn't be prouder. There's nothing he could do to make me prouder," Sandy Sapp said.

The 25 Marine Reservists are with the Fourth Landing Support Battalion's aerial delivery platoon. They are trained to drop military supplies from planes.

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com

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