GA Guard engineers deploy to Afghanistan - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

GA Guard engineers deploy to Afghanistan

Posted: Updated:
  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • 50-state look at how Common Core playing out in US

    50-state look at how Common Core playing out in US

    50-state look at how Common Core playing out in US

    Saturday, August 30 2014 10:00 AM EDT2014-08-30 14:00:19 GMT
    Janet Barresi, state superintendent, gestures as she speaks during a State Board of Education meeting in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)Janet Barresi, state superintendent, gestures as she speaks during a State Board of Education meeting in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
    A state-by-state look at the Common Core standards:More >>
    A state-by-state look at the Common Core standards:More >>
  • Colquitt County Tempo Club seeks current and past A Capella choir members

    Colquitt County Tempo Club seeks current and past A Capella choir members

    Colquitt County Tempo Club seeks current and past A Capella choir members

    Saturday, August 30 2014 9:00 AM EDT2014-08-30 13:00:17 GMT
    (Source: MGN Online) (Source: MGN Online)
    The Colquitt County Tempo Club and the Colquitt County High School A Capella Choir would like all current and past members of the A Capella Choir to perform The National Anthem prior to the Colquitt County High School Homecoming game on Friday, September 5th.  More >>
    The Colquitt County Tempo Club and the Colquitt County High School A Capella Choir would like all current and past members of the A Capella Choir to perform The National Anthem prior to the Colquitt County High School Homecoming game on Friday, September 5th.  More >>
  • Darton College receives new honor

    Darton College receives new honor

    Friday, August 29 2014 11:37 PM EDT2014-08-30 03:37:42 GMT
    Darton State College receives a new honor.It is ranked 6th in the country among mid-sized colleges in the Center for Digital Education's annual Digital Community Colleges Survey.More >>
    Darton State College receives a new honor.It is ranked 6th in the country among mid-sized colleges in the Center for Digital Education's annual Digital Community Colleges Survey.More >>
DOUGLAS, GA (WALB) -

Nearly 100 families said their goodbyes to soldiers today in Douglas, before they are sent to Afghanistan.

It was a tearful day for many families who had to say goodbye to loved ones for a year.

"I am kind of sad, because I know I have to be Mom and Dad to the kids, and it is hard but we will get through, we have gotten through before, and we will get through this too," says Alena Smiley, wife.

They said goodbye to a father and husband, 1st Sgt Alvin Smiley. This is his 5th deployment.

"Pretty routine for me now, I have been in for 27 years so I have been deploying about every 3 to 5 years," says 1st Sgt. Alvin Smiley, Georgia Army National Guard's 848th Engineer Company.

The Georgia Army National Guard's 848th Engineer Company hosted a departure ceremony marking the start of their 12 month deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

"The first two times was kind of hard because I had newborns, but now it is ok now, because I am benefiting from it, and helping out the country," says Smiley.

And his family benefits too.

"You got the post 9/11 GI Bill, both of them can go to college for free and pay nothing, any college they want to go to, medical, dental, everything is free," says Smiley.

Being away from his kids makes the time they spend together even more precious.

"When he leaves I am kind of sad, and I miss him a lot, but when he comes home I am super excited, happy, and I jump up and give him hugs," says Osyria Smiley, daughter.

And for now they will stick to phone calls and skype video chat to pass the time, until they can be reunited once more.

The Soldiers will be leaving Monday morning at 9. They will be bused from the Armory and will be driven around Douglas so that everyone can come out to send them off.

Copyright 2013 WALB.  All rights reserved.