Reservists Headed For Iraq To Document Warfare
Posted August 3, 2006 6:53 a.m. EDT
WILSON, N.C. — The 982nd Signal Company, based in Wilson, is loading up and heading off to Iraq. Some of the Army reservists are deploying for the first time.
"It'll be an experience and adventure, maybe," said Spec. Tierney Nowland.
Only two companies in the entire Army are trained for what these reservists do.
"Our mission is to document all operations on the battlefield," said Sgt. Robert Brogen.
Most of the shooting they'll do is with a camera. Soldiers with the Combat Camera Unit are trained to shoot video and still pictures of all the action. Commanders in Iraq will use those images to decide whether they need to make changes on the battlefield.
"(It's) much like instant replay in a football game," said Brogen.
"They use it for their purposes as far as what went wrong, what went right," said Sgt. Martin Newton.
While the troops will see much of the war through a viewfinder, its not any easier to say goodbye, especially for spouses left behind.
"There are no words," said Mari Anne Edwards, the wife of a soldier. "I just have to pray."
They are, after all, soldiers first. Each carries a weapon, and Iraq is still a dangerous place.
"While there are tense moments sure, because you are holding a camera, and you're pointing a camera instead of a rifle, but you still have a team of rifleman around you protecting you," said Brogen.
But the loved ones understand what their soldiers are going to Iraq to do.
"They're a very special group of the Army, and I'm very proud to be his wife," said Edwards.
When they get to Iraq, the Army Reservists will be divided into two-person teams and attach to other units throughout the country. They are expected to be on the ground for about a year.