20 Miss. Army National Guard soldiers deploying to Afghanistan - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

20 Miss. Army National Guard soldiers deploying to Afghanistan

Posted: Updated:
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

20 soldiers with the 102nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, or MPAD, first received words of encouragement for the deployment ahead of them. Then, it was time to say goodbye to family.

"My daughter's getting ready to deploy. I'm not really ready for that, but I know she is so I'm trying to be very supportive of her," says Shanta Thompson.

With Sergeant Phyllis Thompson leaving with the 102nd, both of Shanta's daughters are now deployed for Operation Enduring Freedom.

"I'm very proud of both of them you know, for doing what they do, serving the country," Shanta says.

Phyllis says saying goodbye to her mother is tough.

"It's my best friend. It will be hard," she tells us.

Staff Sergeant Lamont Bradford feels lucky.

"I have my mom with me, my wife, my youngest of five sons," he says.

Bradford got to see the birth of his son, three month old Jonathan, before leaving.

"I've told my wife for years that it's not the choice of if I go, but when I go. I've been blessed to hold off this long. This will be my first deployment," he says.

The Commander of this unit, Major Brooks Little, will also say goodbye to a baby: his two month old daughter, along with a four year old son and his wife. But he's upbeat about his unit, split evenly between men and women, and the job they will do.

"They will prepare news stories, releases, they will do features for specific soldiers in theater. If they find something interesting it will also give an opportunity for local media back here to understand what we're doing forward," Commander Little says.

The unit heads first to Fort Dix, New Jersey, then to Afghanistan. 

Copyright 2012 Mississippi News Now. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow