Soldier Sendoff

As the U.S. marches on with Operation Enduring Freedom, the nation continues to call on reserve soldiers to head overseas, mainly to Iraq. Sunday, some Tallahassee soldiers said goodbye to loved ones as they begin their tour of duty.

This farewell ceremony for these Army Reserve soldiers marks their last day with family and friends before beginning their new assignment for Operation Enduring Freedom.

LTC Stephen Robinson with 452nd Military Police Detachment shared, "We have seven officers and then you have five enlisted soldiers. As I said, we really work with the MP Brigade coordinating detention operations."

The soldiers fly out of Tallahassee Monday morning to meet up with the rest of their unit in Fort Dix, New Jersey. There they'll train for two months before being deployed to their assignment, most likely in Iraq.

SPC Carolina Vargas said, "I'm curious to see what's going on over there. I'm excited, nervous. You go through a lot of emotions."

SPC Jerald Murphy added, "I'm looking forward to it, anxious and yet leaving behind family, I'm also, you know, a little, a little sad, but other than that I'm looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to being proud to serve my country."

The atmosphere is upbeat and positive, but as these soldiers bid farewell to their loved ones, some of those excited feelings are mixed with concerns.

SPC Vargas added, "Of course, my family's worried about me with everything going on, you know, in Iraq right now, everything on the news. It's normal for them to worry, but they know I'll be fine."

Vargas and Murphy both have plans to complete college when they return.

The soldiers in the 452nd Military Police Detachment expect this assignment to last about 18 months.


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