Troops from right here at home are heading back to Iraq, and Thursday, they got the opportunity to say goodbye to family and friends. Almost 200 soldiers from the 110th Quartermaster Company are on their way to provide fuel in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. For more than a hundred "Fuel Warriors" this won't be their first deployment, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be any easier.
"It makes you a veteran," explains Captain Landis Maddox. "I don't know if it makes it hard or easier. You become more prepared for what you have to face." Those veteran soldiers know it's going to be tough for the men and women who haven't been deployed yet; and they hope they can help out as much as possible. Captain Maddox says, "We show them pictures, we let them be prepared. All the information we have we try to push down to the individual soldiers so there's no surprises."
Sergeant Charles Duke III says, "I don't really know what to expect. But I know that we're trained up and all the soldiers are ready." Thursday's deployment is coming at a hard time of year for the soldiers: nobody wants to go to war during the holiday season, but the Fuel Warriors are taking it in stride. "Just like any other military mission in the holiday season, we handle it," says Sgt. Duke. "We pray for each other and take care of each other and I think we'll do just fine."
This is the second time that the 110th Quartermaster Company has seen action in Iraq. They were already deployed in Kuwait when the War with Iraq first started last spring, and got home from that tour of duty last August.