ACKERMAN, Miss. (WCBI) – A similar sea of emotions outlined the streets of Ackerman Monday morning, as soldiers headed out for their deployment.
“I have been here once before back in 1990, with Desert Storm deployment, this same unit here in Ackerman, and it brings back a lot of memories, but I remember riding that bus ride through Ackerman, looking back and seeing those faces. It meant a lot then, and I’m sure it’s going to mean a lot to these guys,” says Choctaw County Supervisor, Chris McIntire.
Veterans, residents, family, and friends lined the streets of downtown Ackerman, waving hands and American flags, as soldiers rolled out of town preparing for deployment.
Ackerman has a population of less than 2,000, so nearly everyone knows, or is related to some of these men and women going off to fight for our country.
“There’s almost 50 coming from Choctaw County and many of those are from Ackerman, here in the town, so it’s bittersweet, you know? We know they have a reason, they have a purpose, but it’s sort of tough today,” says Ackerman Mayor Tim Cutts.
Resident Trey Bowmen has three cousins who are being deployed.
He says Monday’s send-off is a great example of small town America and showcases how his hometown is pulling together to support the troops and their families.
“The guys that are deployed and the women that are deployed need to know that they can leave and go fight for our freedom, for this country, and know their community is going to support their family while they’re gone.”
Vickie Frizell’s son was one of the many getting on the bus Monday.
It’s his first deployment, which she says makes it harder, but she is thankful for the community support.
“When I first got there and I stepped out and they were playing a song “Proud To Be An American” and then my face got all wet and everything and it just, then they played a song saying, “Has Anybody Seen My Soldier” and I don’t want to cry now, but it’s so easy for me to. I just pray for the safe return of all of our troops.”
The soldiers flew out of Jackson Monday afternoon and will spend 60 days in Texas for additional training before heading overseas.