3rd Infantry heads to Iraq - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR--Ron Smiley reports

3rd Infantry heads to Iraq

Wives, Sons, Daughters, and proud parents brushed away tears and wished their loved ones well as they began their month long journey back into the war tone country of Iraq from Walnut Ridge.

For the third infantry, this is the third time in the past five years the National Gaurd unit has been called up.  In 1999 they were sent to Iraq then were sent back to the Middle East for training in Egypt.

K8 News was there when families were saying goodbye.  Stephen Smith talked about how difficult it was to leave his family.  "It doesn't get any easier but there isn't anything I can do about it", Smith says about leavin.  His son is just six days old, making him the youngest child in the platoon. That will soon change however as several wives are expecting children.

Smith's wife Emily says the next year will be tough for herself and newborn Elijah.  She also has a young daughter.  She says her prayers will be with her husband each day he is away.  Many of the families have seen this happen before.  After all this is the third time in the last five years.  but one wife says the time spent apart is next to an eternity.  She says it makes it easier on her to think about her husband coming home and not leaving.

The local girl scouts and other businesses came out to show their support as well.  The Girl Scouts even giving free cookies to each of the soldiers coming home.  From Arkansas and Walnut Ridge they will head to Fort Polk.  From there they will head to Kuwait for up to a month before heading to Iraq.  Platoon Officer Danny Gifford says the soldiers will be stationed in a "FOP."  A forward outlook post about 20 KM outside war torn Bahgdad.

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