875th Says 'Goodbye'

SEPTEMBER 21, 2006 - Posted at 7:33 a.m. CDT, updated at 8:31 a.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR - The "Freedom Furlough" has come to an end this morning, and emotions are running high at this time in both Jonesboro and Paragould as members of the Arkansas National Guard's 875th Engineers Battalion have left their friends and families in northeast Arkansas to return to Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, before departing for deployment to Iraq.

The nearly 400 soldiers of the 875th returned home to Region 8 Sunday morning for a breif furlough to spend a few days with their families.  The unit's Alpha and Bravo companies  mustered this morning in Jonesboro on the Indian Stadium parking lot, while the Paragould-based Charlie Company also mustered at the same time at the National Guard Armory in Greene County.

The three companies left from their respective locations via chartered buses shortly after 8 a.m.