Monday, March 16, 2009

Mississippi Soldiers prepare for Iraq

More than 3,000 Mississippi Army National Guard soldiers will soon be going back to Iraq.

For many members of the 155th Brigade Combat Team, deployment overseas will be nothing new. Hundreds of members of the group spent a year in Iraq earlier, in the largest war-time deployment of Mississippi soldiers since World War II.

It's about to happen again. Members of the 155th have been told to mobilize in May for training in advance of another deployment.

They will go hoping that this deployment will not be as dangerous as the last. Fourteen members of the 155th died during that last deployment, including some young men from east Mississippi, like Sergeant Shane Pugh, and Specialist Robert McNail.

Several members of the 155th also returned home with serious injuries. Meridianite Norris Galatas was among them, suffering numerous wounds when a roadside bomb hit his vehicle.

The brigade returned home to widespread praise, earning 123 Purple Hearts, 328 Bronze Stars, two thousand combat badges, and a Silver Star.

This time, the soldiers plan to use a buddy system, pairing those who've been in combat before with those who haven't, so the first timers will have an idea of what to expect, and a better chance of getting home to their families, safe and sound.

1 comment:

Call Me Grandma said...

My prayers will go with them.


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