3rd Infantry soldiers won't deploy to Iraq

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The commanding general at Fort Stewart says orders to deploy to Iraq are being cancelled for several hundred of his troops now that President Barack Obama has said all U.S. forces are withdrawing by the end of the year.

Maj. Gen. Robert Abrams, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, said Friday his soldiers would stand ready to deploy elsewhere if needed, though they have received no such orders. About 775 troops from the general's command staff had spent months training to leave for Iraq later this fall.

Many near Fort Stewart are breathing a sigh of relief because the deployments won't happen.

"There was no reason to be there in the first place but 8 years was too long. Too many families lost loved ones. Too much money has been pumped out of our economy into someone else's economy," Abbey Pfau said.

The division's chief of staff, Col. Lee Quintas, says soldiers are relieved to know for sure that they won't be deploying. The 3rd Infantry's soldiers were among the first to invade Iraq in 2003 and were called up for four combat tours.