Local soldiers ready for unique mission
ROUND ROCK (KXAN) – Specialist Ariane Rodgers spent the day Wednesday doing a final check of her equipment before she leaves for training at Fort Hood and then on to Afghanistan for a nine month deployment.
“I think its another great opportunity to serve for the Army and the country,” said Rodgers, who just returned from a two year deployment to Kuwait last year. “I joined active duty right after high school. Just wanted to serve my country, pay for college. It’s a good job.”
Rodgers, 24, volunteered for the Afghanistan mission, even though she will be leaving her parents and other family members behind again.
“They accept it- its what I’m doing- so they support me in it,” she said. “Its just a calling- its just a feeling like this is something that I should do.”
Brigadier General William Hall will command the mission and ultimately be in charge of 900 U.S. military personnel at Camp Phoenix in Kabul.
“There are a lot of opportunities to do good things for the citizens of Afghanistan as we draw down there,” said Hall. “They want it- they want to own it- and they are.”
The unit will be in charge of operations at the base along with providing protection, emergency services and support operations.
“Probably the biggest challenge is the uncertainty in the road ahead both for the Afghans and the U.S. forces as we move in and draw down forces- that natural friction that happens,” said Hall.
The soldiers will take part in a special farewell ceremony for family and friends on Friday at Hendrickson High School in Pflugerville at 10:30 a.m.
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