Many Utahns Spending Easter in Iraq

Many Utahns Spending Easter in Iraq

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Jed Boal reportingAs violence continues in Iraq, more than 100-thousand U-S troops spent Easter there, many of them for the second time.

Holidays are a tough time for military families, especially when their loved ones ship out on Easter weekend.

A quarter-million U-S troops are deployed in support of combat, peacekeeping, and deterrence operations worldwide. Among them, more than one thousand Utahns away from their families. They were all in many prayers this Easter.

As the sun rose over Baghdad's Camp Liberty Easter morning, soldiers sang hymns and read sermons.

For U-S troops in Iraq, the Easter service was a solemn break from the ongoing tension.

Camp Liberty is home to 19-thousand U-S soldiers from the Third Infantry Division. It's one of the largest overseas posts since the Vietnam War.

"We prayed for peace.. Prayed for our soldiers and their families."

For the third straight year, President Bush spent Easter with the troops in Fort Hood, Texas.. a post that's sent thousands of soldiers to Iraq.

President Bush: "It's an honor to be here at fort hood to celebrate Easter with those who wear the nation’s uniform."

Army Reserve soldiers from an Ogden-based unit said farewell to their families this weekend.

Ryan George/146th Transportation Company: "Little bit nervous about what's to come, I guess. I really don't know a lot about what's coming up."

Ryan George must say goodbye to his young children Maylynn and Sheldon. His wife Kendra knows the deployment will be difficult for them all.

Kendra George/Soldier's Wife: "We're going to do what we can to support him and hold down the homefront and just deal with stuff as it comes."

The 146th Transportation Company expects to spend a year in Iraq... As truck drivers, they'll help supply their fellow soldiers. Jeremy Romrell is going back for a second time

Jeremy Romrell/146th Transportation Company: "It's for all these guys and everybody else...and the rest of the country."

The experience of many of the soldiers in a unit such as the 146th is an asset. They can help less experienced soldiers get through some of the tough times.

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