Local Troops Deploy to Iraq

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Nearly 200-soldiers from National Guard posts around the Wiregrass left the Dothan Regional Airport Friday morning. They are headed for training before shipping off overseas.

The American Airlines flight arrived at around 9:45 Friday morning and the 131st Armor Battalion out of Daleville and others from the Wiregrass area came with an escort from the Patriot Guard Riders into the airport; it’s a familiar site to many of these riders to see families saying goodbye.

And, serving soldiers families is something that goes on from the time these troops leave, until they return.

"From the Family Assistance Center at the National Guard Armory, I take care and try to help these families while these men have gone to serve us and protect us," said Family Assistance Center Member Betty Galloway.

Military personnel give a lot of credit to these people who provide assistance to their families. It's comforting to know that someone is watching over your loved ones while you are a half a world away.

"Helping out with the kids, keeping them motivated and basically being another avenue for the spouses that are left behind to go and relive some of the stress," said Specialist William Reynolds of the care his family will receive while he is away.

As the plane finished loading there was time for everyone to say their goodbyes, and though a fence stood between the soldiers and their relatives, sons and daughters, the chain link and barbed wire wasn't enough to break the flow of emotion.

With all the families who are affected by troop deployment, Family Services is still looking for help. "We're trying to recruit new members now for Family Readiness, said Susan Whitman.”We need all the members we can possibly get at this time to try to help each other to make it through this.”

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