Tifton holds military send off for National Guard - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Tifton holds military send off for National Guard

By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

TIFTON, GA (WALB) –Hundreds of students and Community leaders in Tifton gave an emotional send off to members of the Georgia National Guard.

The 110th Combat Sustained Support Battalion has been training in Fort Stewart. They came back to Tifton to spend a little time with their families before they leave for Iraq.

Soon, these 90 troops will be leaving America and headed straight for Iraq.

"It will be a little different for them a different challenge they wont have the comforts of home anymore for over a year, said LTC Lawrence Goss III, Battalion Commander.

For many soldiers, like 19-year-old Alexandria Dean, it will be their first deployment.

"I am a little bit nervous because we are going to a different country but then lm kind of anxious I want to see what its like," said Dean.

Today, the troops marched into the 8th street middle school gym in Tifton, for a military sendoff.

"Me personally, for someone to say thank you or acknowledge what we do, its a blessing," said Dean.

More than 300 students, city and county leaders, veterans and folks from the community came out to show their support.

"Seeing the citizens come out and support us like this gives me great pride to say hey lm an American," said Goss.

"It's really humbling to think you have one hundred soldiers standing in our building knowing that they are leaving here to defend our freedom," said Dr. Ryan Gravitt.

For some students and soldiers, the ceremony was more than just a patriotic celebration, it was emotional.

"When the mayor started tearing up and presented me with a flag to fly over Iraq that touched me," said Goss.

"I talked to some of my students who were crying after the event," said Gravitt.

"When we were walking out, one of the little girls whispered thank you. That touched me," said Dean.

The soldiers will leave within the next thirty days.

Today the mayor presented the Battalion commander with a flag. He says the flag will fly with their unit flag every day until they return back to America.

Those troops will be gone for about a year.

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