Reserve troops leave behind young children - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Reserve troops leave behind young children

March 16, 2003

Tifton- These are the members of the 377th Quartermaster Company. Eleven days before they depart the unit is holding a farewell ceremony for the family they leave behind.

"Its called a farewell ceremony, but its not a farewell. Its just a celebration to get our family members together, our soldiers together, and unite as one before we go," explains First Sergeant Benjamin Ford.

He and his wife Christine are both in the unit and will have to leave their 16 year old son, but the fords aren't the only family that will have a hard time adjusting to deployment.

Most of the young members of the reserve unit are single parents leaving behind young children.

"I'm taking a lot of pictures of my baby and my children, but its hard because she won't turn one until next month, and I'll miss the first birthday and all that. The only good thing about it is she's walking and she does know me," says Specialist Rachel Thomas.

The leaders of the 377th are hoping the ceremony will also be a chance for loved ones to meet eachother and create a family support network.

Dignitaries not only thanked the men and women of the 377th for giving themselves to the U.S. Army, but thanked their families for letting them go.

The 377th Quartermaster Company has about 135 members based in Tifton and 50 based in Macon. The unit's mission is to receive, store and transfer fuel. They will all leave for Fort Stewart on the 25th.

Posted at 6:30 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com

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