CALHOUN CITY – While many troops are returning home and the number of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan decrease, the The Mississippi National Guard’s 858th Horizontal Construction Company is preparing for what many hope will be their last deployment to Afghanistan.
The company was the first engineering company deployed to Iraq in 2003 and then returned in 2009.
Families and community members gathered in the center of town Saturday, hugging their soldiers and promising their prayers and thoughts over the next nine months.
The company will be deploying to Afghanistan to retrograde everything the military doesn’t need and then turn operations over to the Afghan forces.
The company’s commanding officer, Capt. Robert Sanders said it is bitter-sweet to deploy at a time when many solders are coming home,” But, we’re the ones to close the door and put the key under the mat and we’re excited about that.”
The troops will leave Monday morning, making a lap around the Calhoun City square at 8:30 before deploying for over nine months.