Local News

Brigade gets farewell party before deployment

Posted March 13, 2009 11:22 p.m. EDT
Updated March 15, 2009 3:41 p.m. EDT

— The 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) held a farewell party Friday for soldiers deploying to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The deployment comes a few weeks after President Barack Obama announced 17,000 troops would be headed to Afghanistan. Among those are 2,800 soldiers from Fort Bragg.

Squad Sgt. Morgan Fuller is among the Fort Bragg troops who will leave for Afghanistan in a few weeks. Fuller said his mind is own his mission, but he will miss his baby girl, Isabelle.

“What we wanted to do was some books on video with me reading them so she doesn't forget who I am,” Morgan Fuller said.

“I'm not sure if it will be easier or harder this time because we do have Isabelle,” wife Viviana Fuller said.

Local businesses and veteran groups participated in the event that featured food, drinks and entertainment. Country artists Heidi Newfield, Matt Stillwell and Bill West & the Truth performed.

The event was aimed at recognizing the sacrifices of the troops and their families.

“These young men and women, they love what they're doing. They serve cause they want to serve,” Col. Paul Bricker said.

For 35 percent of the brigade, like Chief Warrant Officer Dylan Ferguson, this will be their first deployment to Afghanistan.

“I'm just anxious to get over there to do what I've been trained to do,” Ferguson said.

Last year, Ferguson wife gave birth to the couple's first child, Skylar. Another baby is due in November.

“It's frightening knowing that I have a child on the way and there's always a chance that they won't come home,” wife Jamie Ferguson said.

The Pentagon ordered the 2,800 aviation soldiers to Afghanistan in December. The brigade will be based in southern Afghanistan. They will perform a variety of duties, including flying cargo and medevac helicopters.