Utah Army Reservists deploying to Middle East to help troops fight ISIL

Posted at 1:29 PM, May 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-04 15:37:45-04

FT. DOUGLAS, Utah - Army Reservists with the 96th Sustainment Brigade have been in training mode and soon they'll be putting all that hard work to the test in the Middle East.

Fifty soldiers spent the morning at Ft. Douglas saying goodbye to their loved ones.

Families captured the range of emotions they experienced on this bittersweet day.

Little ones dressed in pajamas held on tight to dad or mom, giving out as many hugs and kisses as possible before they boarded buses to Salt Lake International Airport.

Soldiers got their assignments about a month ago.

They'll be stationed in the Middle East and provide support to combat troops who are helping in the fight against the terrorist group ISIL.

“It’s tough,” Carrie Anderson said, wife of Specialist Jeffrey Anderson deploying to the Middle East. “We have a 2-and-a-half-year-old and he’s getting a really good memory so he asked me, ‘Where's daddy,’ and it’s going to be hard.”

An especially tough time for their families but they know firsthand the time and commitment these men and women put in on behalf of their country.

“Stressful, kind of exciting,” Sgt. Kayla Benson said of deploying. “It’s kind of like, I've done all this training and I've done all this preparation, now I finally get to prove I can do it fulltime. I have what it takes.”

A total of 130 Army Reservists will be stationed at Ft. Hood in Texas for about a month.

Then they'll head out to the Middle East for up to a year.