It's a bitter sweet day for the families of 39 Lubbock Marine Reservists.
Friday marks the first day without their loved ones, and the first day they can count down to their return. Around ten o'clock Thursday night 35 men and 4 women boarded a bus at the Reserve Center in North Lubbock County. The group is now in Camp Pendleton, where they will train for six weeks, then head to the Middle East.
"Don't look at war as a bad thing, we're out there living up to our title so support us and the more motivated we'll be," said Sgt. Andrew Banda. This tour of duty will be Sergeant Banda's third deployment since he has joined the Marines, something he shares in common with many of the others going with him.
"The worries were last year, this year it is to protect these new guys and show them the ropes," says Marine Reservist Corporal Travis Perkins.
The reservists are expected to end up in Iraq and should return sometime in late March or early April.
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