June 1, 2006
by Alicia Eakin
Valdosta -- The unit from Moody Air Force Base is expected to return before the end of the year.
It's a day Candace Carr and Heather Hampe have been preparing for but hoped it wouldn't come so soon. "This one was a surprise," Heather said.
"We knew they were going to deploy again," Candace said.
"We thought it was going to be a lot later then it was going to be," Hampe said.
"Probably for the last month and a half we've been getting ready for it," said Candace.
Their husbands are airmen in the 823rd Security Force Squadron, the latest troops to be deployed from Moody Air Force Base.
Deployment is nothing new to these Airmen. This will be their third time serving in Iraq.
"This is a quick turn for us," said Captain Doug Whitehead, Commander of 823rd Squadron. "We returned January from Iraq and were notified that our deployment was moved up to right now. We were originally supposed to leave in September, but we're going early this year."
This deployment might seem routine to these Airmen and their families, but loved ones say it never gets easier. "You learn not to cry in front of them," said Heather Hampe. "It's a lot harder on them, so a lot of it gets held and you get to the car ride home, and it hits you a lot more. You get to your house and it's empty, and you wake up, and they're not there."
The squadron will return in six months. This will be the Airmen's first Christmas at home in three years.