"18 years old, as soon as I was out of high school I signed those papers. It's been a good career. I've gotten to see the world," says Trooper First Class Eric Henry, who works out of Troop C in Pearl. He's spokesman for the Mississippi Highway Patrol.
He's also Sergeant First Class Eric Henry, and he's preparing to mobilize with the 608th Engineering Group out of Vicksburg for deployment to Afghanistan.
"I'm a little nervous. I've never been to Afghanistan," said Henry. "It's basically about getting over there, getting used to things and trying to get your own comfort level once you get over there." I've been to Iraq twice. My last tour was in 2001 (withdrawing troops). We shut down military bases and broke down equipment to hand over to the Iraqi government."
He will be doing the same thing in Afghanistan, but first he will have to separate from his job, and his wife and three children, ages 15, 9, and 5. The physical and mental adjustment is never easy, he says.
"You have to get their comfort level up, let them know what's going on, what to expect," said Henry. "Once you get over there and get on Skype and the Internet and talk to them, they feel comfortable with what you're doing," said Trooper Henry.
If you want to help, don't forget care packages. Children and other groups send them overseas from time to time. Trooper Henry says they work wonders for lifting the spirits of hard-working soldiers.
"We all get those, share them amongst each other," he said. "We just make a joyful event out of it. We enjoy the care packages."
Trooper Henry says he will probably be in Afghanistan from March to November or December.
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