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

Troops leave for Fort Stewart

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March 25, 2003

TIFTON - "Fall out for a hug and load up," First Sergeant Ben Ford yells out to his troops.

85 Soldiers from Tifton's 377th Quartermaster Company said their final goodbyes before heading for Fort Stewart.

"It's sad," Nayeera Jackson, Frankie Johnson's sister said.

"Going to go over there, do our thing and come on back," Johnson said.

The families were at the Army Reserve Center to say goodbye, while people lined the city's streets for people they've never met.

"We wanted to support our troops, we hope they come back safe," Shanna Tyson said. "We'll show them we are behind them every step of the way," Rhonda Kunes said.

Thankfully for the soldiers and their loved ones, they've got some experienced help on the family support staff, a retired company member replaced in the 377th by her son.

"Families here asking to keep heads up, prayer only thing that gets you through," Kwajalein Tucker, a soldier's mother said.

Prayer and a parade to show how much the community cares.

"I'm from Florida and I feel like I'm home right now," Sgt. James Smith said.

QuartermasterHome now for the reservists called up a week ago is Fort Stewart, their jeeps and supply trucks gone to the army base with them.

The 377th will be joined by a detachment of about 50 soldiers in Macon. They arrived at Fort Stewart this afternoon. Now they'll begin training for possible deployment to the Persian Gulf.

posted at 6:15 p.m. by dave.d'marko@walb.com