Heavy Haulers depart for Mid-East - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Heavy Haulers depart for Mid-East

^ Specialist Todd Gage ^ Specialist Todd Gage

February 10, 2003

Columbus-- Fifty more Georgia soldiers are headed to Kuwait. Members of the 233rd Heavy Equipment Transportation Platoon from Fort Benning deployed Monday.

It was a day of good-byes for soldiers and their families at Fort Benning. Sunday, the soldiers of the 233rd received their orders to join thousands of other soldiers in Kuwait.

The military men and woman have known for months their deployment was certain, but when and where they would go remained a mystery until Sunday.

There were Hugs, kisses, and pleas to God to return these soldiers safely home. After months of stand-by, the soldiers of the 233rd Heavy Equipment Transportation Platoon final received the word to go.

"We were surprised to hear we had to leave so quickly," said First Lt. Lydia Welch. "We knew we would leave eventually and are ready to go now."

Families seized every moment with their loved ones. “We've been through this before, but this time it's not training,” said Terry Gage, wife of Specialist Todd Gage. “We're nervous, but ready. Anyone who tells you that they aren't nervous are lying," said Specialist Gage.

Gage entered the military 10 years ago and is saying good-bye to his wife and three children. It will be at least a year before these soldiers come home. And, then the tears running down the faces of families left behind will be ones of joy.

The 233rd is responsible for moving tanks and other heavy equipment to ground troops headed for the front lines.

posted at 5:35PM by dave.miller@walb.com