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Hartselle Enquirer

Remember those away from family

By Staff
Leada DeVaney, Editor
This year has been a typical Christmas – busy.
It seems as if there's always something that needs to be done, bought, wrapped, cooked or delivered.
Those were the things on my mind last Wednesday as I traveled to a meeting in Franklin County. Who was left on my list and where would I find that belt my dad told me he wanted? Had I bought enough for my sister and will it all end up being returned? Exactly where is that present I bought my brother?
It was about that time that I noticed some flashing lights approaching me in the opposite lane. All I could see were the blue lights ahead and what appeared to be a line of cars behind them.
My first thought was that it was a funeral procession and I immediately began debating whether it was safe to pull over on the side of the road and prove I was raised correctly.
Quickly, however, I realized this wasn't a funeral procession. Instead, it was a long line of military vehicles, with a police escort for the whole procession. It seemed as if there were hundreds of trucks, some sporting American flags.
Somewhere in the back of my mind, I remembered reading a story about a group of Franklin County troops being deployed and how they would be leaving before Christmas.
This was their departure.
Tears came to my eyes and I thought about their families. While I was worried about presents and bows, their families were worried about the safety of their loved ones and what the future holds for them.
It was one of those moments that brings everything into prospective.
I arrived at the Franklin County Times office and was greeted by some sad faces. I learned the group – some 138 men and women of National Guard Company B, 115th Signal Battalion – had received an emotional sendoff that morning.
The group is headed to Fort Campbell for some training before leaving for Iraq, where they will be stationed for up to a year.
While they are gone, their families will be left to carry on without their husbands, wives, mothers and fathers, daughters and sons.
It will be a tough Christmas for them this year.
I thought about the soldiers of the 115th Signal Battalion again on Sunday morning when I learned American soldiers had captured Saddam Hussein.
I hope this makes the world the 115th are facing a little safer.
And I hope all the husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, daughters and sons all return home safely to celebrate the Christmases to come.

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