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Georgia troops to deploy

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December 3, 2007

Albany - - The Department of Defense announced Monday that Georgia's 48th Brigade Combat team will deploy to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The news comes just a year and eight months after thousands of Georgia National Guard Troops returned from Iraq.

It's news any member of the National Guard knows can come at any time. Now, bout 4,000 Georgia troops know it's time to prepare for another dangerous deployment. 

"The biggest thought was 'am I going to come home and see my little girl'," says National Guard Sergeant Bobby Jackson speaking of his last deployment.

"In Iraq, we were doing more combat operations, what they call full spectrum operations."

With three deployments under his belt, today's news didn't come as a surprise.

"I had a feeling it was coming. But to see something concrete, it gives us a chance as citizen soldiers, to start preparing ourselves and our family for the upcoming deployment."

That's what matters most to him. Monday, the Department of Defense announced troops in Georgia's 48th Brigade will deploy in the summer of 2009 - - giving them time to alert family and time to train for their duty in Afghanistan.

"What I understand is in Afghanistan were going to be doing more training the Afghani army so we'll be doing more of training the local populous."

But even with advance notice, it's news that's not always welcomed by loved ones.

"How has your family adjusted to that?" we asked.

Jackson pauses. 

"They don't like it but they're accepting the fact, they know that's what I do so," he then says.

It's what he chose to do.

"It was always something I wanted to be since I was a little kid."

Admirable service, fighting for what he believes in - with others serving on the front line for the very same reason.

"We keep each other together. That's the biggest thing. were all a family for each other. We have to maintain that camaraderie with each other or we wouldn't make it through what we do," Jackson said.  

The 48th Brigade has 4,200 soldiers. Almost all of them will head overseas in about a year and a half. That will make it almost three year's from their last deployment.

In all, about 8,000 troops will head to Iraq at that time and 7,000 will go to Afghanistan, all as replacement units for troops that will be coming home.

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