GA Army National Guard Soldiers Leave Savannah For Afghanistan - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

GA Army National Guard Soldiers Leave Savannah For Afghanistan

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Even as most local troops have returned from Afghanistan, one group of local soldiers is on the way there now. The Army National Guard helicopter crews left Hunter Army Airfield Saturday to begin their nine-month-long deployment.

The long goodbyes began with a short but meaningful ceremony in the Georgia National Guard hangar at Hunter Army Airfield, followed by a hearty meal, and a chance to spend time with a group of people who are so much more than colleagues and friends.

"It's an extension of your family and we celebrate each other's significant events- birth of children, marriages, highlights and low points in each other's lives.  It means a lot to be able to share that with them while we're gone," said GA Army National Guard Mark Morris.

"We do become more of a close-knit family during the deployment, and it's very interesting to see the relationships that develop after the soldiers get home" said Army Guard Spouse, Katherine Carver

These Georgia Guard soldiers have been on more than one deployment to Afghanistan and know the larger mission is yet to be finished.

"Well, there's still plenty to be done in that country, and they're going to ask us to do things that the unit has done in the past, getting the country in a state where they can support and sustain themselves," said Captain Ben Hutson.

For now, the focus is on farewells, as Dia Carver watches her brother, Lt. James Carver fly away on one of the unit's six Chinook helicopters.

"I wish him the best.  I know that he's got a family that loves him and supports him.  We just all are coming together, and just really excited for him, and proud of him, but more importantly, we just wish him for a safe return," said Carver.

The soldiers will first fly to Fort Hood, Texas, for intensive training before their combat mission begins.

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