875th Enjoys Send-Off Banquet

July 20, 2006--Posted at 11:00 pm

JONESBORO-- This Saturday, some of our good neighbors and heroes, members of the 875th engineer battalion will be leaving for deployment to Iraq.

Signs of support for the troops are everywhere and tonight, members of the 875th and their families were honored with an appreciation dinner at the Convocation Center.

K-8 news was there as soldiers and their families gathered for what will be one of their last nights together before leaving for a very important mission.

As soldiers leave messages in advance for their loved ones, they're holding on to the last moments with family and friends before they must leave them behind for a very important mission.

And while most here a prepared for what's to come...

"It's a little bit of mixed emotions, but this is what we do so we knew this day may come. We're ready to do our mission," Major Michael Henderson of the 875th engineer battalion says.

There are some things that are very difficult to leave behind...

"This is my little girl Hallie. She's 7. She's probably the number one thing I'm going to miss when I leave," Henderson says.

It seems Hallie is a daddy's girl. "I love him," Hallie Henderson says.

And although she might not be old enough to understand her daddy's job...

"I don't know where he's going," Hallie says.

She's sure of one thing... She'll miss him.

"He's gonna be gone for a year and a half and another year and another year," Hallie says.

"You're leaving everything you care about and all the people you care about behind so that's bittersweet," Major Henderson says.

Dozens of men like Major Henderson are preparing themselves for the magnitude of war and each are very passionate about their jobs. In the crowd, there are many... New fathers, new husbands, and single men and women with a purpose.

And although leaving is hard, they're proud to fight for men and women much like themselves.

It's a pride in our country that even the youngest of people can understand...

"God bless America," Hallie says.