SLIDESHOW: Hundreds Of Idaho Soldiers Leave For Iraq - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

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SLIDESHOW: Hundreds Of Idaho Soldiers Leave For Iraq

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GULFPORT, Miss. - Two huge, chartered planes left here today filled with hundreds of Idaho Citizen Soldiers of the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team (116th CBCT), Idaho Army National Guard. It was the first wave of a 4-day sendoff.

Soldiers began their day at about 3:00 a.m. in order to complete their packing and rides buses on the 1-hour trip south from Camp Shelby to a remote corner of the Gulfport International Airport, where they met their flights.  Soldiers passed the time awaiting their takeoffs in a makeshift departure hall by phoning home and socializing with the sendoff party and among themselves.

On hand to wish them farewell were Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, commander-in-chief of the Idaho National Guard, Maj. Gen. Gary Sayler, commanding general, Idaho National Guard and Brig. Gen. Alan Gayhart, commander, Idaho Army National Guard. Col. Guy Thomas, 116th CBCT
commander, also took a place in the sendoff line today; his own flight departs here later this week.

The planes will refuel in Bangor, Maine and Leipzig, Germany prior to touching down tomorrow in Kuwait.  They will take up their duty stations in Iraq later this month.

To visit our "Salute The Brave" page, click here

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