Families Prepare for Soldiers Departure for Iraq

CAMP SHELBY, MS (KAIT) -- Thousands of soldiers who are part of the 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team from all across the state of Arkansas are in the final stages of getting ready to leave for Iraq.  Most of the training is finished at Camp Shelby for the soldiers.  According to the Sgt. Major of the brigade, they should start leaving for service overseas by the end of this month.

In this time before the departure, many soldiers are thinking about what the next year is going to be like.

"You're thinking about everything.  You're thinking about your family back home.  You're thinking about how your wife's doing, how your son's doing, your grandparents, mother, and father.  You're thinking about the next mission you have coming up and all your guys you have underneath you working for you," said 39th Soldier Heath Loggains.

Many of the soldiers in the different units from Region 8 have small children.

"I have two small kids so I'll have to be strong for them and show them I can handle this," said Nicole Dewitt.

"I think it's going to be an adjustment period.  I think it's going to be hard for them but I think they'll pull through," said Jeff Dewitt.

That's the attitude that many of these families share.

"Having my son and hearing something new he's doing each day, it makes it difficult.  However, it also makes it good because Apache is part of a family.  Each of us have something we share with each other that kind of bonds us even more because we're all going through the same things," said Captain B.J. Vincent.

But while they're gone all of the soldiers say they plan on keeping close contact with loved ones.

"Got a web cam set up at home and a web cam on my computer so hopefully I can read my son stories so that way he remembers who I am when I come back," said Vincent.

"I think that's going to help my morale up and I think it's going to ease tensions caused by the deployment between us during the deployment," said Dewitt.