WALNUT RIDGE, AR - The final wave of soldiers leave Arkansas today and tomorrow for Camp Shelby, Mississippi, before heading to Iraq. Members of the National Guard's 39th Infantry Brigade began leaving home last week. For some, it will be their second time serving in the war.
The 3,200 soldiers will perform security-related duties and will escort top officials. They are scheduled to be in Iraq for 10 months.
More than 500 soldiers from Forrest City, Searcy, Walnut Ridge, Rector, Batesville, Augusta and Newport leave today. Tomorrow another 500-plus troops leave. They will come from Warren, West Memphis, North Little Rock, Magnolia, Camden, Fordyce and Monticello.
Also, approximately 60 soldiers with the northeast Arkansas-based 875th Engineers Battalion left yesterday for Camp Shelby. Those soldiers will deploy to Iraq with the North Little Rock-based Horizontal Construction Unit. Many of the troops will be serving their first tour of duty in Iraq, while others will be serving in Iraq for a second time, having just returned with the 875th in October.