Father and Son Prepare to Leave for Iraq

JONESBORO, AR -- Another father and son will soon be joining other members of the National Guard currently serving in Iraq.

Ric and Andy Metcalf are both members of the 871st Troop Command out of Little Rock.  They are training at their base in Little Rock and from there they will go on to Camp Shelby Mississippi.

"I think we'll be there for sixty days give or take and then we'll be heading in country," said the younger soldier, Andy Metcalf.

"We're on 400 day orders.  We'll be gone for about a year and we're going to a forward operating base in the southern part of the Iraq," said Ric Metcalf.

For this father and son, going together is a sort of "catch 22".

"At first I was really hesitant about it because it's one of them deals where you want to be with them but you don't just in case something does happen," said Andy Metcalf.

"It's kind of mixed emotions about it.  He was going to be deployed one way or another.  Everybody in the guard is going to be deployed.  I'm glad he's going with me," said Ric Metcalf.

The two will be on base in the southern part of Iraq.

"We'll be the mayor cell there.  Like the name says it's a mayor and we'll be managing the base like the mayor of a city," said Metcalf.

There are about thirty men and women going over as a part of the 871st.

Ric Metcalf was a part of the 875th Engineer Battalion for 36 years.  He was given a promotion to serve as a Sergeant Major in the 871st last June.  His son Andy was also in the 875th.  The younger soldier transferred out of the 875th and into the 871st about four weeks ago.

"I was thinking about going with my dad with the 871st and my friend with the 875th said, 'Why don't you?' and I just decided maybe that's where I really need to go," said Andy Metcalf.

This father and son come from a long line of service in the national guard.

"I'm kind of excited because you get to go and serve your country, but nobody really wants to do it when it comes down to it," said Metcalf.

The two will leave their base in Little Rock on June 12th to head to Camp Shelby Mississippi.  They should be in Iraq in the next three months.