October 10, 2005
Dozens of soldiers at Fort Gordon are enjoying a night in their own bed after more than a month in the hurricane-ravaged region. News 12 is on your side with more on how their trip might become the norm in a story you’ll see only on 12.
The Fort Gordon soldiers are back home tonight. But their next trip might come earlier than usual.
More than forty soldiers are back home at Fort Gordon after 35 days of hurricane relief. That includes Sergeant Tanya Barksdale.
“It’s nice to be back in the barracks, be the only one in your room, be able to watch whatever you want on TV,” Barksdale said.
News 12 first met Sergeant Barksdale manning a communications satellite in the heart of downtown New Orleans, the area devastated by Hurricane Katrina. She later moved on to San Antonio, two days before Hurricane Rita hit Texas.
“We’ve done hurricane missions down south. If we keep having hurricanes like this, I absolutely believe we will be called upon more often to provide communications for these cities,” Barksdale said.
But for now, it’s time for rest and relaxation. The trip home took 23 hours, with just a few stops for meals.
“It was long. Everybody had their fair share and was ready to come home,” said Captain Courtney Henderson.
Some are greeted by family, but Barksdale’s family is in Huntsville, Alabama. So she’s hoping for a weekend off for a trip west. But first, more homework.
“We do actually go over everything from the beginning when we were pre-deployment all the way to deploying back. So we will go over all that stuff,” Barksdale said.
So those soldiers have a few days off this week. But they have to report in full uniform on Thursday, ready for more training and a full review of their mission.