155th Brigade leaving for Iraq - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Canton, MS 05/1/09

155th Brigade leaving for Iraq

 By Bert Case - bio | email

All over Mississippi Friday National Guard soldiers from 51 units reported for duty to get ready to go back to Iraq. The soldiers, part of the 155th Combat Brigade are, in many cases , making their second trip to Iraq, having been first deployed in 2005.

There was a sendoff ceremony on the courthouse grounds in Canton, organized by Canton Mayor Fred Esco.

There were about 60 family members and friends assembled to give the soldiers a sendoff. Twenty six soldiers, of the Alpha Company Brigade Special Troops of the 155th Brigade from canton boarded a bus for the trip to Camp Shelby for training. They will leave for Iraq in June, probably on the sixth. They are looking forward to it.

"I always dread leaving the family, friends and stuff like that, but it's something we have to do, it's a job we do, it's an oath we took, we have to do that job," said Staff Sergeant Lorenzo Baker of Jackson.

"I am following my commanders orders, and it feel this is an important job, I'm ready to do it and I will give 100% to it," added Sgt. First Class Belinda Longmire of Flowood.

WLBT asked, "Are you concerned going into harms way in a very violent place?"

Specialist  Raymond Troth replied, "No I know I am coming home.

"Do you feel your training is gonna carry you through?," WLBT asked.

"Oh my training was perfect, I'm coming home," Spec. Troth replied.

It was hard for the soldiers to leave their families and friends, but everyone we talked to was highly motivated and ready to go back into harms way, believing their experience and training will protect them. The soldiers were told by local officials their families will get support while they are gone.

 It was about a 90 minute bus trip to Camp Shelby south of Hattiesburg.

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