Sammy Linebaugh Reporting...As reinforcement troops prepare for deployment across the country, members of Utah's 22nd Field Artillery Battalion received a special delivery today from Senator Orrin Hatch.
March 19th... the day war with Iraq began.
A flag flew over the U-S Capitol in honor of Utah's National Guard.
Senator Hatch made a special request. And today he brought that flag home as a gift. It's a symbol, he says,of Utah's commitment and sacrifice.
Senator Orrin Hatch: "I'M HONORED TO GIVE THAT TO YOU.
Soldier: I'M HONORED TO ACCEPT IT. THANK YOU SO MUCH. HOLDS UP BOX. CHEERING..."
Inside that box -- an American flag -- presented to a packed auditorium of soldiers at Camp Williams.
Senator Orrin Hatch: "GOD BLESS EVERYONE OF YOU. YOU'RE GONNA BE IN MY PRAYERS EVERY DAY...THIS IS THE GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD, BAR NONE. IT'S WORTH FIGHTING FOR. AND YOU'RE FIGHTING FOR THIS WORLD AS WELL."
Greeted with a standing ovation, Senator Orrin Hatch offered his thanks to Southern Utah's 222nd Field Artillery Battalion. The battalion is set to deploy next week, first to Ft. Carson in Colorado, then on to the Middle East.
Michael Young/Monticello, Utah: "MY HEART'S POUNDING RIGHT NOW, IT WAS REAL EXCITING. IT'S EXCITING TO BE HERE, TO BE A PART OF THIS, TO GO DO WHAT WE'RE GONNA DO. I'M JUST REALLY EXCITED, REAL PROUD."
As thousands of soldiers prepare for deployment overseas, immunizations include defenses against anthrax and hepatitis.
Troops here say they're ready to go.¶
And this flag, this symbol of the honor they're called to defend, they say, is added courage.
Kent Humphreys/Parowan, Utah: "IT'S GONNA BE HARD. BUT I FEEL LIKE IT'S WORTH IT. IT'S A GREAT COUNTRY WE LIVE IN."
Sgt. First Class Kent Humphreys will deploy with the so-called triple duce next week...
And says he considers himself lucky.
His son, Kent Junior, is serving in the same unit.
Kent Humphreys Sr.: "AT TIMES I WOULD SOONER HE WASN'T GOING TO BATTLE, TO WAR, IN HARMS WAY, BUT IT IS GOOD TO HAVE FAMILY WITH ME."
Kent Humphreys Jr.: "YOU HAVE THE GUYS AROUND YOU, THE GUYS ON YOUR LEFT AND RIGHT WHO YOU KNOW HAVE YOUR BACK, BUT IF YOU HAVE YOUR FATHER OR YOUR SON THERE, YOU KNOW YOU HAVE SOMEONE WHO CARES AND WHO WILL HELP YOU IF YOU NEED IT."
For both, no questions, no regrets, no doubts about the mission.
Only hope, they'll return home together.
Kent Junior, there, is actually one of 11 children...but father and son are the only ones serving in the military.
We wish the Humphreys, and all the soldiers a safe return.