This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
I had the opportunity this morning to watch 45 men and women from our Utah National Guard deploy. I'm out right now at Airport #2 in West Jordan, where the Blackhawk choppers left for Fort Sill then onto Iraq. I've been here since 10 AM, watching and reporting on the ceremonies and speeches as the troops were sent on their way. Then they had about an hour more with their families as we reporters mingled among them to grab our soundbites. What amazing families. What amazing troops, to be able to fly and man these awe-inspiring helicopters. I talked to Cathy Zesiger, who is so proud of her husband for re-enlisting after 13 years away, and becoming a pilot. I also talked to Lt Col Hank Mcintire who says these troops will be flying an air assault battalion -- flying troops in to the front lines in Iraq. Nothing can describe the sight, and sound, of those choppers taking off. But the moment I will remember is the hand I saw out of the window waving to the families lined up outside to also wave goodbye.