Local Troops Deploy to Iraq

By: Patrick Claybon Email
By: Patrick Claybon Email

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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Jamie Billits Location: Pleasant Grove, Al on May 6, 2008 at 07:21 PM
    WELCOME HOME 131~~ We are glad you ALL made it home safely!
  • by Brett Location: Williamson on Jul 10, 2007 at 01:20 PM
    To all the 131 Armor family, friends, communities, Patriot Guard, Al Dept.of Public Safety, alumni, and other supporters: Thank you for your support. The sacrifice that your family has made for our country is greater than most people realize. Rest assured the soldiers of Team Vandal honor your contributions to this conflict. We are steadfast in our resolve to bring honor to this call to service. We cannot succeed without your prayers and constant support. Your love for each of the soldiers that are deployed is represented in the red in our state flag. The purity of our mission is represented in the white flag of the great state of Alabama. Keep us in your prayers and remember to thank a soldier for his service. We will remember to thank you for your support. 1LT B. Williamson, Executive Officer, Team Vandal, 1-131st Armor
  • by Kim Location: Westville, FL on Jul 9, 2007 at 09:10 AM
    My brother left with the 131st unit. I am so proud of him and all the young men that had to leave their families.
  • by Renee Location: Ozark on Jul 8, 2007 at 02:45 PM
    My 2 children and myself were in the video as well saying goodbye to daddy (squatting at the fence). Thank you wtvy for honoring our brave guys, thanks to the Patriot Guard for all you do, thanks to Pollard and KC for your show of support- but shame on you Dothan Airport for charging these grieving families (with our hearts ripping away and loading a plane to defend YOU) for our goodbye. It's easy to slap a "support our troops" magnet on the bumper but another to actually do it, huh? It was definitely worth the 4 measly bucks but come on, guys.
  • by Cheyenne on Jul 8, 2007 at 09:15 AM
    My husband and I are in this video, we are kissing through the fence. Thank you so being there, the support was overwhelming. We are newlyweds, and this is our first deployment, it is hard already, thank you for the coverage! Cheyenne Keef (Lt Keef's wife)
  • by lisa Location: headland al on Jul 7, 2007 at 08:11 PM
    You are not alone and you, your family and the others are in my prayers daily. I will add you by name as i have your family in my mind and heart God Bless and thank u for your sacrifices !
  • by Victoria Trouant Location: Taylor, AL on Jul 7, 2007 at 12:27 PM
    Thank you for showing your support of our troops. The picture you have posted for the video is of me, my husband, and son. I am greatful you were there so everyone can know and feel how we felt yesterday. Yesterday was the worst day of my life. Today is the beginning of a new chapter for my family and all the others that are part of this deployment. Please, send your prayers up daily for us. May the Lord bless you.
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