Guard unit captain gets stateside R&R - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Guard unit captain gets stateside R&R

June 21, 2004

Ft. Benning -- A south Georgia National Guard Unit is still overseas after more than a year away from home.

A Thomasville National Guard Unit left home for a mission in Iraq in April of last year, and they're still sleeping in desert tents and battling sand storms. But one mother of two escaped the military life, for at least, a little while.

Captain Alice Hampton stopped by Ft. Benning during a two-week visit home to share with us video of her time overseas.

Captain Alice Hampton goes from pelting sand storms in the Middle East, to rest and relaxation, splashing at Atlanta's Centennial Park with her fiancé Norris and daughters Ebony and little Eshe.

"She was one when we left and turned two while I was there and she's about to turn three. I missed a lot." Eshe learned her A-B-C's while her mother learned how to live like a military mom.

"We are a combat support unit and support the combat fighters and basically our mission is to transport whatever they need from Kuwait up to Iraq and beyond," Hampton said.

The 1148th Transportation Company working beyond their scheduled flight home. The Thomasville unit left America April 2003. "We were all disappointed, but we had to keep on."

Disappointed because two days before their flight home, the 100 soldiers were told they had at least 90 more mission days. "We had to continue mission which was a morale buster, go back to Iraq."

The mother of two watched her kids grow up on video tape. But, this is something she can't do in the Middle East. Wrap little Eshe with a towel, shivering from the cold fountain water. "Just leaving everybody will probably be sadder than when I left because I have spent this time together and now I have to go back."

"Hopefully we will be mission complete around July 14th or 16th."

A mission that sent a mother away from her children once again. "Hopefully, a month later, I'll be coming back here." A hopeful soldier who's ready to get the job done.

So far, the unit has spent 432 days away from American life. There are nearly 100 soldiers from the 1148th Transportation Company still in the Middle East.

Some have returned to America because of medical reasons or family care problems. There have been no combat injuries in that unit.


posted at 4:40PM by dave.miller@walb.com

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