July 15, 2007

2/183rd troops say goodbye, prepare to go to Iraq


A Soldier attends to some last-minute fatherly duties before deploying with the 2/183rd Cavalry June 10 in Portsmouth. (Photo by Capt. Dayna Rowden, Virgnia Guard Public Affairs)


By Capt. Dayna Rowdon
Virginia Guard Public Affairs

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – On June 10, nearly 450 Guardsmen from the 2nd Squadron, 183rd Cavalry departed Virginia to Camp Shelby, Miss., on the first leg of their 12-month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

A departure ceremony was held at the NTELOS Pavilion in Portsmouth, Va. Family and friends of the deploying Guardsmen, as well as Virginia Governor, Tim Kaine, gathered to wish the Soldiers well and to honor the sacrifices they make to promote and preserve freedom.

“An occasion such as this helps us to focus our minds on what is important: family, faith, friendship, service to country and service to others – being willing to do your all for others,” said Governor Kaine to the Soldiers and their family and friends. “Those are the essential bits of wisdom around which we should organize our lives.”

By the end of the summer, over 2,000 Guardsmen of Virginia will be activated for federal service. These Soldiers, along with those of the 2-183 Cavalry, are playing a vital role in the War on Terrorism.

“You are all special Americans and Virginians,” said Lt. Col. Walt Mercer, 2-183 Cavalry Squadron commander, “because, unlike a majority of our fellow citizens who watch the War on Terrorism and really feel no direct impact on themselves or their families, you are all making sacrifices by being Guardsmen and Guard families.”

Lawrence F. McGregor V, is no stranger to service or sacrifice. His grandfather Lawrence F. McGregor III, his grandmother Corinne, and his father Lawrence F. McGregor IV all served in the armed forces during times of war.

“We did it for our families and our future,” said the eldest McGregor as he held his great grandson Lawrence F. McGregor VI. “We wanted them to have a free life, to grow up safe and sound.”

Amid all the attention focused on the Soldier, Mercer recognized that the families and friends of the 2-183 play a critical role in supporting the Soldiers.

“You are all part of this team…We will do our best to take care of each other. We will accomplish our mission, and we will be ready to celebrate our Homecoming next June.”


Virginia National Guard Soldiers with the 2nd Squadron, 183rd Cavalry spent time with family and loved ones June 10 in Portsmouth as they prepared for their 12-month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Photo by Capt. Dayna Rowden, Virgnia Guard Public Affairs)




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