The mood was excited with a somber overtone – this trip was for one last visit with a soldier of B Company, Main Support Battalion who would be leaving in less than 48 hours for Iraq. After the long trip, soldiers and family members greeted each other with lots of smiles, hugs and kisses. Cameras flashed to capture the memories of those last moments together.
In the evening, everyone gathered in the post gym for a ceremony that united the members of B Company with National Guard units from Winston-Salem, N.C., Bell, Calif., and Lock Haven, Pa., forming the 1452nd Heavy Equipment Transportation Company. A few more hours and the bus was idling at the barracks waiting for everyone to climb back on board.
Maria Rosa sat in her seat after saying good-bye to her husband, Sgt. George Rosa. She was wearing a desert BDU cap that her husband had made for her with his rank and name embroidered on the cap. Around her neck she clutched a set of dog tags that he also had made with lettering about his love for her. “After 19 years of marriage this romance surprises me,’ she said wistfully. “I’m never taking them off.”