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Aug-19-2008 14:37TweetFollow @OregonNews
Salem-News Follows Oregon Soldiers Departure For Iraq (VIDEO)Tim King Salem-News.com
Tim King is embedded with the 2-641 Aviation group; watch for his ongoing series from the Iraq war zone
(FORT BENNING, Georgia) - Oregon Guard soldiers from 2-641 Aviation on their way to a deployment in Balad, Iraq have spent the last week at Fort Benning, Georgia preparing for their deployment in the war theater. The weather has been warm and humid but they say the training is essential toward their preparation.
Staff Sergeant Chris Fisher with the Oregon Guard says it’s a change from Northwest living.
"It’s hot and muggy here, that’s for sure, it is quite a culture shock and a weather change from being on the west coast. But Fort Benning is a good post and I am ready to get out of here. We spent our week here sweating; now we’re ready to go."
This aviation group was busy today, having completed their mobilization training here at Fort Benning. We all hear about the repeated tours soldiers are taking to Iraq and Afghanistan, but this group has several soldiers like Chris Fisher who will enter the combat theatre for the first time.
"For half of us it will be the first time out there," Fisher said.
"Basically family,preparing for Kuwait, you know getting there, going through another week of in processing, wanting to get going to Balad to see what it is like, concentrate and get home."
Accompanying these soldiers into Iraq will be not one, but two pilots who served during the Vietnam War. They are a valuable asset particularly around soldiers who will enter the combat zone for the first time.
I am going to be embedded with this group of soldiers… catching up with them in a couple of days in Kuwait. In the meanwhile, not one but two entirely new groups of soldiers have arrived here to prepare for duty overseas. This is a busy place, to say the least.
WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW:
Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 in Afghanistan with Oregon troops, and his coverage from Iraq that was set to begin in April has now commenced and will be ongoing throughout the next many weeks. Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website, affiliated with Google News and several other major search engines and news aggregators.
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