Troop Deployment

It's 12 days and counting until members of the 287th Army Reserve Transportation Unit out of Livingston, Alabama leave on a mission.

"It seems that sometimes the preparation is the hardest part," said 1st Sgt. Earve Knox from Tuscaloosa.

With specialized training in transporting tanks, these reservists could very well be directly in the line of fire, something which makes both newcomers and veterans to such conflicts, somewhat uneasy.

"To me, it seems to be a little bit more tense," said Master Sgt. Wardell Harrell, who served close to a year in Desert Storm.

"Mentally it gets easier," said Desert Storm veteran Sgt. Ricardo Corbie. "However, emotionally, with your family it's never easy."

"You don't know what's going to happen when we get there," said Staff Sgt. Allen Mitchell, who is also a Desert Storm veteran.

Newly enlisted reservist, Specialist Mike Gordon said, " When I get over there the butterflies might start, but right now I'm fine because I'm home where it's safe."

"Well, I kind of have mixed emotions," said Specialist Reginald Williams "This will be my first battle action, but I know when you sign a contract and you are called, you have to go."

"It's a little hard for some of the younger soldiers right now," added
Corbie. "Morale for the soldiers, it is kind of down right now, but they'll be all right when they hit the ground."

Although members of the 287th say they don't know exactly where they are going or how long they will be gone, one thing is for sure. They are ready.

"I feel good because we have a great group of guys and ladies," said Sgt. Robert Walker from Newton. "We are ready."

"We have soldiers who went to Desert Storm," said Staff Sgt. Samuel Blanks from Putnam, Alabama. "The good thing is like me they know the terrain and the area where we will probably go and I feel we can accomplish the mission."

The 287th will officially begin when the unit leaves Feb. 4.