Local troops depart
More than 100 soldiers from the Central Virginia National Guard stationed in Charlottesville leave today for training in Mississippi on their way to a 12-month tour in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Though some of the soldiers from Company A, 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry of the Virginia National Guard have had experience in Guantanamo and Afghanistan, this could be the first time local National Guard troops deploy to Iraq.
Members of the National Guard are usually just weekend warriors, training one weekend a month and two weeks each year. However, with the war in Iraq and Army recruitment numbers falling, guardsmen from all over the country have been called up to do tours overseas.
The troops will depart following a ceremony this morning at Piedmont Virginia Community College.