Hundreds of Mississippi National Guard soldiers are enjoying a few days off to spend with family and friends before shipping out to Iraq.
This will be the second deployment for many of the 3,200 Mississippians in the 155th Brigade Combat Team, which spent most of 2005 in Iraq during the largest deployment of Mississippi Guard soldiers since World War II.
The soldiers mobilized in May and were sent to Camp Shelby for training.
Twenty-five-year-old Sgt. Marieka Thompson said it will be hard to leave two young children, but she's "ready to go. It's just going to be very emotional for me to leave them."
The 155th will ship out next week.