Utah Soldiers Honored While Others Deploy

Utah Soldiers Honored While Others Deploy


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Alex Cabrero reporting Utah has always been proud of its military service, so today was a quite a day. Three ceremonies, at three different times, for three different missions. But all of them for America.

You can break military service during wartime into three different categories. Those who've been there, those who are there, and those who will be there. All three groups are very special, and today, they were prepared, honored, and remembered.

Chances are you don't know the men whose names were read, today.

It's okay... neither does Hillary Karsten, and one of them is her father.

Hillary Bundy Karsten: "I don't remember him. I was almost three."

But thanks to a new memorial at the Hill Aerospace Museum, you can easily find out why they're important. 39 men who said goodbye to their families before they left for Vietnam and never came back to say hello.

George Spurger/ Former Pilot, Vietnam War: "And to remember the price these guys paid, how close we all were when we were there."

It's a bond that's lasted a lifetime and a bond these pilots will look forward to, for the rest of their lives.

Capt. Steve Boatright/ 388th Fighter Wing: "Good to be back home on the ground with my wife."

Twelve F-16's from Hill Air Force bases 34th fighter squadron came back home after spending four months in Iraq.

Lt. Col. Garry Vanderveer/ 388th Fighter Wing: "Very successful. We were there during the Iraqi elections, their first free elections in 45 years. That's great to see."

The looks on their faces are of joy, but mostly, relief. They all came home.

The looks on the faces of the soldiers who are deploying are much different.

Spc. Joshua Bird/ 872nd Ordnance Company: "The first thing that went through my mind is if I'll come back."

Joshua Bird is a member of the Ogden based Army reserves. The 872nd recently found out, they're heading to Iraq.

Tammy Bird/ Joshua's Mother: "I got a big knot in my stomach. I'm really scare. He's my only son."

A lot of uncertainty, which is what this meeting was for. To bring families together, and answer questions, because Iraq is a long ways away and 18 months is a long time.

Capt. Harold Clements/ 872nd Ordnance Company: "Just get the job done, concentrate, and we'll all come back."

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