Troops from 1086th could be home as soon as Monday

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 17, 2003

Families of the 1086th from Vidalia hope to see their loved ones home from Iraq in just a few days.

The 1086 Transportation Company could return to Fort Polk, La., as early as Monday, a spokesman for the unit confirmed Tuesday night.

&uot;Right now, they’re in Kuwait. Everything’s done, and they’re just waiting on a flight,&uot; Lt. Brian Stevens said.

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Once the soldiers are back at Fort Polk, they will have to spend about five days in &uot;outprocessing&uot; before they will be released to their families, Stevens said.

&uot;That means that if they come in (on) in the 17th, they could be back in Vidalia on the 21st,&uot; Stevens said.

If the company returned over this weekend, they would be allowed leave time until Monday, when outprocessing would start, he said.

He cautioned, however, that all plans are subject to change.

But Stevens said towns between Fort Polk and Vidalia, where the National Guard Armory is located, are being contacted so they can clear the streets and have residents waiting to greet the troops as they return home.

Tanya Jenkins, whose son Michael turned 21 while serving overseas, can’t wait to have her family reunited.

&uot;No sleep, just waiting,&uot; she said Tuesday night after returning from a support group meeting for families of the troops. &uot;I’ll be at the airport. Eight months is just too long not to see your child. I just thank the Lord none of them have been hurt.&uot;

At Tuesday night’s Vidalia aldermen meeting, Alderwoman Maureen &uot;Mo&uot; Saunders said a support group for the troops is planning a celebration honoring them for Dec. 7 at the old courthouse.

Stevens said the plan is now to have a celebration at 1 p.m. that day before the Vidalia Christmas parade at 3 p.m.

&uot;We would like everybody to come out and support our troops,&uot; Saunders said.

Members of the 1086th of the Louisiana Army National Guard have been serving in Iraq since February.