Wiregrass families say goodbye as soldiers get deployed to Middle East


ENTERPRISE, Ala. (WDHN) — Wiregrass soldiers are being deployed, and family members had to say their last goodbyes at the National Guard Armory as they saw their loved ones prepare for departure.

Mother Hillary Thomas had to answer the tough question to her son on why his dad was leaving them.

“After he got on the bus he said how are we gonna manage without Daddy, and I said, ‘We’ll manage. We’ll manage. Daddy won’t be gone forever,'” Thomas said. “So my prayers are just that the Lord will bring him back the same way he went over there.”

There were several loved ones who also faced difficulties like Jewel Grimes, whose nephew is being deployed for the very first time.

“My nephew’s leaving today, departing and I’m very sad about it,” Grimes said. “We’re going to miss him, but he’ll be back soon.”

Soldiers will be deployed somewhere in the Middle East with no accurate time frame on when they will return.

For many soldiers, this is their first time being deployed, like 19-year-old Hunter Stephens, who is excited, yet anxious. His circumstances are different than most.

“It’s pretty rare for me to come a private, to come straight from a basic training environment straight into deployment, but it’s a little nerve-wracking, but I’m not stressing it too bad,” Stephens said.

As loved ones say goodbye, one gave this message for others to remember.

“Let your soldier know that you’re behind them no matter what,” Thomas said. “That everything at home, it’s no need to worry about home cause you’ve got home handled.”

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