Dalton community sends off soldiers heading to war in Afghanistan
About 2,000 U.S. soldiers will be deployed to Afghanistan soon, and 75 of them live in the Dalton area as members of the Dalton's Troop C, 1-108th Cavalry.
Monday morning, community members sent them off in a special way.
After a quick ceremony, honoring about 75 soldiers heading to war. Those same soldiers were embraced by their loved ones and their community.
“We just really cannot do what we do without family support and without community support. It really gives meaning and purpose to what we do overseas,” Cpt. Nathan Turk said.
During a catered lunch at the Dalton Armory, notes thanking them for their service and reminders to hurry home decorated the walls. Small, personal, camouflage bibles were also given to the soldiers. It is the little things some say will help them through the nine months they will spend in Afghanistan.
“To have that moral support means a lot to the guys. It shows them that we care about them and that is what is important to all of these soldiers is letting everybody know that we care,” Charlie Rosenquist, chairperson for the Family Readiness Group," said.
Cpt. Turk says many of his soldiers are young with families.
“A little over half this is their first time. Probably about a quarter of them have been deployed at least one time. Some of the soldiers this will be either their third deployment from Iraq or multiple times to Afghanistan,” he said. “There's guys still deploying into harm’s way to defend our country.”
Watching these soldiers go is not easy for their loved ones. Some cried. Others held on tight, but as they lined the street, they smiled and waved as their brave soldiers drove off fulfilling a mission to protect and serve.
Those soldiers will train for a few more days. Channel 3 has been told they will be able to spend a little more time with their families, but they will head to Afghanistan by Christmas.