News 12 11pm / Sunday, May 4, 2014
Augusta, Ga. (WRDW) -- Sunday a group of Fort Gordon soldiers said goodbye to loved ones and hello to a mission. The 518th company is heading to the Middle East. This deployment marks the 5th trip overseas for the group, but the soldiers aren't the only ones making a sacrifice their families are too.
Pictures, smiles, and families. That's the type of crowd soldiers heading to Kuwait and Afghanistan marched into. The 518th Tactical Installation Networking Company stood straight, listened, and even prayed before their 5th company deployment.
With babies too young to understand watching, the service men and women marched towards the doors and headed outside. After troops picked their bags up, they went and said their final goodbyes.
The 518 will provide communication support to the US and its Middle East allies during their 9 month deployment. Something Darius Stokes says is a challenge welcomed by his buddy 19 year old, Private First Class, Justin Conti.
"Your first time going out of the country and going to a deployment station is a lot," he told News 12.
Shandora Eady's husband rode out on the white bus carrying soldiers too. Eady's husband is going on a second deployment that she says is tough for the family.
"We have a four month old this time around. So, it makes it a little harder this time for daddy to leave us," she said.
Loved ones wave their heroes off with hopes of a completed mission and a safe return
The unit's first time to the Middle East was back in 2006. They stayed two years. This time 9 months will keep them away, but some say it could be shorter, with another withdrawal due in November.