Friends, family gather in Batesville to say goodbye to troops - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Friends, family gather in Batesville to say goodbye to troops

By Ben Watson - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

BATESVILLE, MS (WMC-TV) - Friends and family of more than 100 Mississippi soldiers said goodbye Monday morning at the Batesville Civic Center. 

As a band played, people gathered to bid farewell to the soldiers of Delta Company, as they prepared to leave for Iraq.

"It's always hard leaving your family and your friends at home to make a deployment, especially for such an extended period of time," soldier Brian Ferguson said.

As the soldiers said their final goodbyes, many got in their last hugs and kisses and words of support.

"It makes them feel appreciated lets them realize that there are people back home that do think about them," First Lt. Joseph Calley said.

For many family members, Monday was the start of a long wait for their loved one to return from war.

I'm nervous, but not too bad," said Catie Cox, a friend of Calley's. "I know he'll be fine and come back to me and everything will be good."

The send-off was organized by the Delta Company Family Readiness Group, and was a great boost to soldiers eager to do their duty.

"We're all prepared," Calley said. "A lot of the guys have been here before. We've got a lot of good leadership.  I think we're going to rely on those people as much as we can and they will get us through."

The soldiers will be gone about a year.  Their first stop will be Camp Shelby in Mississippi.

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