Soldiers prepare for deployment with 'Family Day' - - Jackson, MS

Soldiers prepare for deployment with 'Family Day'

PEARL, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The Family Day is a time for family members of mobilizing soldiers to learn about benefits and support programs, but it's also a time for those heading overseas to begin the adjustment.

"This will be my first time over," says Master Sergeant Flo Carrigan of Louisiana. She recently transferred to the 365th Combat Support Battalion. She's preparing to say goodbye to her children, ages 23 and 14. "I'm going to have a positive attitude. I'm just staying focused on getting there, getting the mission done, getting back. I believe in God. I know he's with me, that's the way I'm looking at it," she says.

Sergeant Rolando Ruiz volunteered for this tour. "I've been to Iraq, Bosnia, never to Afghanistan," he says.

Sergeant Ruiz will also leave behind two children, ages 18 and 12. "It's always tough, never easy, it doesn't get any easier," he says. "We all hope it will end soon, but as long as the U.S. needs us for the mission, we will do."

Battalion Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Smith says the Family Day is an event that eases everyone into the major life change that takes place during mobilization. "About 40 percent (of the soldiers), this is their first deployment, so it's real critical during the yellow ribbon event so their families understand what's going on with deployment," he says.

The 365th Support Battalion will provide maintenance, supply, and administrative support to other units in Afghanistan. They will head out for training in Fort Hood, Texas, on Sunday. 

Copyright 2011 WLBT. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly