Bringing an End to Freedom Furlough

Sept. 21, 2006 Posted at 4:30 pm CST

Jonesboro, AR -- It was an early start to the morning as members of the American Legion and other volunteers started cooking breakfast for the 875th and their families.

Burnis Posey with the American Legion, was there at 3 a.m. to get things started and said it was the least they could do.

"We have cooked over 480 sausage and biscuits for these guys. We want to help out in any way we can, and people have just poured out their hearts and pocketbooks with donations. We couldn't do this without them."

As the morning progressed we made our way over to Indian Stadium Parking Lot for breakfast and the bus departure. Family and friends started to pour into the empty parking lot to support their loved ones and say a few last words.

After breakfast, a short formation, and many hugs and kisses, the members of the 875th Engineer Batallion loaded the buses and waved good bye at 0800 hours.

"It's reality's tough to see him leave, all of them...but we know that we have a tight nit family and we have God...and God can look over him better than we can."

Bruce Ruffin and his family waved goodbye to their son who they wouldn't see for a year, and weren't sure when they would even talk to him again.

"We just don't know, we don't think he knows. Eventually we know we can keep in contact by email and phone calls and I think they are setting up webcams. It's going to be tough, but we have to be here for support. We are so proud of him."