Troops leave Fort Benning - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Troops leave Fort Benning

January 6, 2003

FORT BENNING- Three hundred soldiers make the march to Fort Benning's Deployment headquarters. The first of many in the Third Brigade who will be heading overseas this week. All they have with them are weapons and backpacks filled with canteens, meal rations and personal items. But the greater burden to carry is knowing the loved ones they are leaving behind.

"Bye Travis, We love you," Travis Hall's mother says. "It's hard," offers his wife.

Behind each tearful goodbye is a story, for Para and Travis Hall, it's their wedding, less than a month ago, not even time yet for a honeymoon.

"She'll be sending lots of carepackages," Hall told us.

Rosalynn and Ed Stewart have been married for 12 years, and she has seen her husband leave before, but this time it's different.

"We don't know where they're going and neither do they, so it's scarier," Stewart said.

But young Cody has the scoop on his dad's mission. "He's going to the desert," Cody Bryant said. 

"You are going to miss your wife and playing with your kids, but it reminds you of what you are protecting," Bryant's dad Staff Sgt. John Sochocki said.

Despite so many unknowns about the missions location and length, there is one thing all these soldiers and their families are sure of.

"I Know he is going to come home safely to me," Melissa Thompson said. They are confident in their return."I'll be back," Travis Hall told his wife. 

The next few weeks for families might be difficult. They've been told it will be difficult for the troops to make phone calls or email, and even if they get the opportunity, their exact location may still be classified. The base has several support groups for those left behind.