Shipping Out

By: Justin Ware
By: Justin Ware

Handshakes and hugs were the order of business in Wausau Saturday morning, as members of the 376th Finance Battalion said goodbye to their families and prepared to head to the Middle East.

They'll be gone for about a year and most of them say they'll miss the little things about living in America the most.

"Probably that nice, tall beer on Friday afternoon during happy hour," said Lt. Brian Lund.

"Movies, going out to eat and just the little things that couples take advantage of," said Brian Fendos, husband of Sgt. Mirayra Fendos.

"I'm gonna miss my family," said Spc. Eric Hochkhammer, "anything, I could say sports, I could say friends, but family by far."

After this weekend, e-mails, an occasional phone call and old-fashioned letters, something nearly every soldier says is the most important will be the only ways the men and women from this unit will have to communicate with their families.

And for many of their families, it is nothing new. Several of the soldiers leaving Saturday are not the only ones in their family to be heading over seas to fight the war on terror.

"Someone I know very close to me, my uncle is leaving, along with my unit," said April Leslie, who is training to head to the Middle East. "So, I need to start getting ready myself."

And the soldiers say they are ready to start spending time away from their loved ones in order to serve their country.

"I've been in the unit for 13 years," said Lund, "and I consider it my second family. Even though I'm going to be leaving one behind, I'm still gonna have family with me."

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