|Soldiers of Echo Company salute the flag during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner.|
|Soldiers bow in prayer.|
|Captain Stallworth and Mayor Martin|
The unit commander is Captain Tony Stallworth. During the ceremony, he spoke to the soldiers and their families. Also speaking was Mayor Bryan Martin and State Representative Jeff Wardlaw. Mayor Martin noted that the soldiers and their families were the VIP's of the gathering. He wished them well, Godspeed, and safety and thanked them for their part in protecting America. The family assistance coordinator out of Pine Bluff talked to the families and explained her office's role in supporting them while their family members are deployed.
In an interview with Captain Stallworth following the ceremony, he wanted to thank the people of Warren for their continued support of the National Guard in the community and for the city's assistance with the departure.
|Guardsman Swannigan smiles as she stops for a photo with family and told salineriverchronicle.com that she is looking forward to going to Africa.|
|Families gathered with their special "heroes" to wish them well.|
Photographer's note: I was moved by the ceremonial send off of Echo Company in which I had several former students. Watching them say goodbye to their families was difficult and very moving.
|Beverly Reep with former student.|
|Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Sifuentes take a moment to pose with their former teacher.|
|salineriverchronicle.com photographer and WHS teacher Beverly Reep wishes her former student Diedrick Rimmer a safe journey.|