Bennington Soldiers Say Goodbye - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Bennington Soldiers Say Goodbye

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Bennington, Vermont - December 10, 2009

It was an emotional event Thursday afternoon in Bennington, as family and friends gathered to see their loved ones for one of the last times before they are deployed Friday morning. The B troop, which is about 80 strong, has soldiers from Vermont, New York and Massachusetts. The soldiers say their families are prepared for the deployment and that the support from the community has been very strong.

"Well, two of my sons have had military experience one is actually active right now. He's going to be getting out just before Christmas and they've been through this deployment with me before so they're prepared," Vt. National Guard Specialist Julie Robertson said.

"Today is about being with family and knowing the mission we have ahead of us and being here with family and just being with them today," Vt. National Guard Specialist Chris Bullard said.

"I think it's great that it's a fairly small town the guys are deploying from because the support we've seen in the past couple weeks-- certainly today and I'm sure we'll see for the rest of the afternoon-- has just been great," said Jessica Sheffield, Bullard's fiancée

Following the ceremony, troops loaded on buses and in family vehicles and were led through the town of Bennington by a police, fire and rescue escort.

"I'm really hoping when they look out the window of the bus and their vehicles and they see all of these hands waving goodbye to them and that they're gonna know that those hands are also going to be here to catch them when its needed," said Joann Erenhouse of the Hometown Heroes Committee.

Vermont, Massachusetts and New York ladder trucks marked the gateway out of the town with a hanging flag saluting the soldiers' journey away from home. The troops were headed to Burlington where they will stay overnight and depart early Friday morning for Indiana. They chose to have this ceremony in Bennington Thursday because the large deployment is so far away.

Molly Smith - WCAX News

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