Captain William Meadors with the Medical Platoon, 2nd Battalion, 123rd Armor says: "It's a tough day because one moment you're saying goodbye to your loved ones your spouses and parents, yet you're anxious to get going because the faster you start your mission then you can come home."
Sergeant E5, William Berry says: "I'm upset, but I'm not going to show it on the inside. I'm excited to go. Because it's something that doesn't happen everyday in your life. It's a chance to go over and see some stuff that I'll probably never get to see again."
Captain Meadors and Sergeant Berry are just two of the approximately 35 soldiers that are moving to Camp Shelby, Mississippi for additional training prior to their departure to Southwest Asia. These soldiers are medics with the Kentucky National Guard.
Meadors says: "Most of these guys have been deployed more than one time, since September 11. Significant portion of those soldiers are volunteers. That makes a difference because you have people who truly want to do it and make a change for the better."
Berry says: "Our group has a great camaraderie. We've been together for years. Most the people I've gone with I went to High School with and grew up."
Captain Meadors and Sergeant Berry agree there isn't another group of soldiers they'd rather be with.
Meadors says: "The values that we have in America not everyone shares across the world. And I think it's something very special what you have here. You have people who truly care about one another and especially Kentuckians. There's no better bond better the families than what you have here in Kentucky."
Berry says: "I feel 100 percent safe with these guys. I believe they have my back and I hope they know I have theirs."
There are currently more than 1600 Kentucky National Guard troops serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and Noble Eagle, or participating in peacekeeping operations in Eastern Europe. More than 6000 Kentucky Guard troops have been mobilized since September 11, 2001. Three soldiers from our area have lost their lives while serving.