Fort Sill soldiers prepare for deployment

Tuesday, December 6th 2005, 6:19 am
By: News On 6

FORT SILL, Okla. (AP) -- Family and friends of about 170 Fort Sill-based soldiers say their goodbyes to the troops before they're deployed to Iraq.

A departure ceremony was held Monday at Fort Sill with soldiers of the Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion, 17th Field Artillery.

The group will deploy for the Iraqi war front within a week.

It will be the first tour for 21-year-old Army Specialist Justin McCallister.

His mother -- Cathy Cousino -- shed a few tears as she watched her son and his comrades during the ceremony.

Battery commander Captain John Sandor says he prays the hard work the soldiers put in will help ensure they return home safely.