In Effingham County, one National Guard unit will deploy this week for first time in more than 50 years. Today, community members and businesses hosted more than 100 weekend warriors and their families at a special luncheon in Springfield.
Civic leaders from Springfield, Guyton and Rincon declared this week "Alpha Battery Week in honor of members of the 118th Field Artillery's Alpha Battery of the 48th Brigade. The soldiers will be heading to Fort Stewart for four months of training, then on to California for more training and then to the Middle East.
"Just knowing that there is this much support for them, they definitely see the meaning in what they're doing," said the unit's Capt. Jeff Schneider. "There is a purpose, it's not just training. There's a purpose we're here to protect and serve how we can."
On Friday, townspeople will gather along Highway 21 through Springfield and Rincon as they watch the convoy of Guardsmen head out of town.
This deployment marks Alpha Battery's first activation since World War Two.