Sunday, April 15, 2007

Staunton Armory's 116th prepares for Iraq....

There's a great article about the 116th Infantry Brigade of the Virginia National Guard based out of the Staunton Armory and their training for the upcoming Iraq deployment in today's Waynesboro News-Virginian written by Alicia Petska.

These are our neighbors, friends, family members in the SWAC area. These are the men and women who sacrifice so we may go about our lives in freedom.

Major Alan Carter, 37, of Waynesboro is typical of the many who have signed up to the service of this country. His reaction upon receiving news of deployment was "ecstatic." Even though he will be leaving his wife and four-month-old daughter behind, he said:

“I’m actually looking forward to it,” the 37-year-old Waynesboro man said cheerfully. “… This is one [mission] I finally get to go on.”

As a full-time personnel manager for the Staunton-based 116th Infantry Brigade, Maj. Carter has already helped send six battalions to Iraq and Afghanistan over the last four years. But, the 18-year National Guard member has never been called himself - this will be his first overseas assignment.

“It’s kind of hard sitting back, watching everyone else go, not being needed,” he reflected Saturday. His wife, he added, was supportive when his marching orders arrived. A former Guard member herself - the two met while serving in the 116th - she understood the call of duty all to well.

“She’s just praying for our safe return,” said Carter.

Among those training and preparing are husband-and-wife team Spcs. Christina and Landon Phillips who will be leaving their one- and two-year-old daughters behind with family members. It will be Landon's second deployment and Christina's first. They are examples of the many citizen soldiers who are willing to do their duty to preserve our freedoms and safety here on the homefront.

Thank you, 116th, for your service and dedication and love of country. We salute you and will keep you in our prayers.

Check out the rest of the article here.

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