National Guard Troops in Beaufort Deploy - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

02/01/07

National Guard Troops in Beaufort Deploy

Beaufort Guardsmen are en route to Afghanistan for an 18 months.

It was an emotional day with lots of hugs, kisses, and tears because not only are these guardsmen leaving behind their jobs and their homes, but their families.

Saying goodbye to his wife and two small children wasn't easy for Sgt Timothy Green but he like the others in this unit, understand why they're being called to active duty.

"Millions of other soldiers have already done their share and now its my turn and I'm ready to go," said Sgt Timothy Green.

Eddie Price is also ready for what's to be the National Guard's largest single deployment in South Carolina history since WWII.

"A lot of us are sad we have to go and leave our families but there's a mission out there that needs to be done," said Eddie Price. "We're looking forward to going over and getting it done and getting back home here."

Back home to their families and their jobs. Among these guardsmen are local firefighters, police officers, small business owners, and young college students.

"I'm a college student at USC at first I was a little upset," said Jamie Rowe. "I was being pulled out, but the way things are going I'm real glad I'm getting to go while I'm young and don't have a family."

While this deployment will effect the whole community one of the biggest impacts will be on the local fire departments, those firefighters who are staying behind came out in force today to show their support.

"It just shows all the guys do care about each other and we're not going to let a little deployment like this separate us from being that strong-nit family," said Eddie Price.

While this deployment is hard for all of these families, Brenda Heape is really feeling it, both her husband and son on their way to Afghanistan.

"Just praying for them to be safe," said Brenda Heape. "It's good that they're together they can watch out for each other."

While in Afghanistan, the unit will be training the Afghan Army and Police Force. But before actually going to Afghanistan -they will go to Mississippi for some extra training.

But this isn't the first deployment. Quite a few from this unit deployed back in 2002 to Shaw Air Force Base on Security Duty for nearly two years, but during that deployment they were able to come back home fairly often to see their families - but not this time.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com

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