Soldiers say Goodbye - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Soldiers say Goodbye

Cordele - On Monday, a farewell tribute was held for members of Bravo company based out of Cordele. It was a chance for community members to say thank you and send their wishes to a group of their heroes.

"I do love my daddy with all my heart, 'cause he prays for me and he feeds me and most of all he's my hero," says Austin Lassetter.

And the soldiers are heroes to many others, that's why a ceremony was held at Watermelon Park in Cordele in their honor today. "To have this type of support and dedication, it's truly a blessing to be able to call Cordele home," says Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion commanding officer, Captain Brian Lassetter. He says his troops are ready for battle. "We're ready, we're prepared to conduct the mission and I look forward to conducting the mission and coming back to my family."

A family that will miss him while he's away. "It's hard," says wife Renee, "It's very hard for him to be gone for that long, but I love him and I know he's passionate about what he does, and it's important that we have men that feel that way."

And it's important that the troops know they are supported in their calling. John Jimenez says, "Just our way, Crisp county's way of saying thank you for what you're doing, thank you for what you're about to do, and let them know that Cordele and Crisp county does care."

And the next ceremony held in their honor, the Welcome home service, Jimenez says, "It's going to be big, very big."

The guardsmen will begin shipping out to Kuwait on the 15th, and will go onto Iraq from there. The Cordele Chamber of Commerce is asking people to donate phone cards, so the soldiers can call their families when they have free time. The 48th Brigade is expected to return by July 2006.