Guardsmen enjoy a final visit - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Guardsmen enjoy a final visit

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The Georgia Army National Guard's 48th Brigade is assembling in Camp Shelby Mississippi and preparing to deploy to Afghanistan in the next week.

Today, three soldiers said goodbye to their families.  They enjoyed a final weekend visit home, thanks to an Albany church.

Last week Sherwood Baptist Church of Albany sent a bus to Camp Shelby and brought more than a dozen members of the 48th Brigade back home to Albany for their last furlough before deploying.

Many of the soldiers said they could not afford the trip, but thanks to the church they got to visit their family. The church took the ones who wanted a return ride back to Mississippi.

There were hugs, tears, and prayers as Private First Class Nicoby Inman said goodbye.

 "That's the hardest part, leaving my family and friends and stuff,"  said PFC Nicoby Inman of Scout Company.

This is Inman's second deployment. He served in Iraq in 2006.  "The entire family is proud of Nicoby. We endured a tour in Iraq. We made it through that one, and with God's prayers we'll make it through this one also," said his Mother, Faye Johnson.

For the next ten months the 48th Brigade will train Afghan soldiers and police to protect their own country.

Sgt. Ronald Williams is also an Iraq veteran with the Brigade, and is excited about the mission. "To do a good job in humanitarian things that the region needs. Good support. Southern hospitality that we bring from Georgia."

Sherwood Baptist Church brought Williams and Inman home for one last visit, and Jim Russell said he is proud to drive them seven hours back to Camp Shelby.

"They're doing a whole lot more for me than I. Just driving a bus is a minor thing," Russell said.

But the families said the church bringing their soldiers home for one last visit and taking them back was a tremendous gift.

"Meant a lot to me. And my wife, and my family. All the people here in Albany. I want to say thank you Sherwood Christian," said Williams' Father Benny Williams. 

More than 3000 members of the Georgia Army National Guard will deploy to Afghanistan within the next week. One interesting thing the troops were talking about their training in the last months.

They had to prepare for sub freezing temperatures they will face later in the year, rather than the 100 degree plus temperatures they saw in Iraq.

Sherwood Baptist brought more than a dozen soldiers home to Albany Friday, but only three soldiers rode back to Camp Shelby today.

 

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