Bragg troops deploy to Afghanistan
Posted February 21, 2014
Updated February 23, 2014
Fort Bragg, N.C. — About 300 members of the 82nd Airborne Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team left Fort Bragg for what could be their final mission in Afghanistan.
President Barack Obama wants all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by the end of the year, and part of the 1st Brigade Combat Team's mission will involve providing protection during the upcoming Afghan elections.
"You want to get in on that, to help close another chapter of not only American history but also of Afghan history," unit commander Lt. Col. Mark Childress said.
It's unclear how long the troops will be deployed, so they spent their final hours at Fort Bragg saying goodbye to family and friends.
"You want to see your kids grow up and experience the experiences they had – missing football games and cheerleader practice and stuff like that," Spc. Andre Smith said.
Sgt. Gunnar Gilmore, a medic, said the job remains dangerous even as the war in Afghanistan winds down.
"We go out and find the roadside bombs, the (improvised explosive devices), things of that nature. So, it's still very, very dangerous," Gilmore said.