The Longview News Journal — KILGORE — More than 100 American flags lined U.S. 259 and Henderson Boulevard on Saturday, welcoming the 110 soldiers of Bravo Company and their families to a deployment ceremony and picnic before they left for Afghanistan.
The Bravo Company 3rd Battalion of the 144th Infantry Regiment of the Texas Army National Guard is based in Kilgore, and dozens of residents pitched in Saturday to give the company a fitting send-off.
About 30 members of the company are East Texans.
“Thank you all for choosing to be here today. Thank you all for giving us a proper send-off before we make the trip overseas into harm’s way,” said Bravo Company commanding officer Cap. Rodney Robinson.
“The ever-changing battlefield now requires us to be smarter, stronger and more flexible than our forefathers. Soldiers make the Army strong, and the soldiers standing before you today make the finest this nation has to offer.”
The National Guard soldiers were honored in a ceremony in Kilgore College Master’s Gymnasium that also included the official issuing of the guards’ orders. The guardsmen were then treated, along with their families, to a smorgasbord of free food provided by Kilgore residents.