A Family Affair In The 114th Air Support Group - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

12/04/03

A Family Affair In The 114th Air Support Group

Serving in the 114th Air Support Group is a family affair for Rusty Cowart. His son is a member, so is daughter Carrie, and Carrie's boyfriend James Hauptmann. They will ship out with the rest of their unit.

"I'm lucky. Part of my family's going, my son, my daughter, so I'm a little better than a lot of folks that are leaving all of their families," Rusty says.

Carrie Cowart says they've known nearly for nearly a month they would be going off to war.

"I am going to miss my mom and everybody back home, and even though it is time for the holidays it was a bad time for us to get mobilized, but at least I'll have somebody over there to spend the holidays with."

This group says there's too much to do to think about the holidays: getting fitted for gas masks, moving equipment, and putting medical and personal records in order. The 114th will relieve troops already overseas.

Administrative Officer Steven Farragut says, "We provide the water, the food, medical support, transportation, anything they need to do their job."

The men and women say they're ready to go but there is some fear of the unknown as they travel to hostile territory.

Tanika Taylor says, "Not knowing what you're going into really. Other than that, I've just been praying and ask the Lord to give me strength and I'm really going miss my family."

Everyone in the unit shares those feelings but they know they must honor their promise to serve their country.

"We've been trained, we know what we're supposed to do and we're going to get the job done," says James Hauptmann.

The 114th leaves Hattiesburg next Tuesday. They will first go to Fort Stewart, Georgia for an unknown period of duty, and then move on to the Middle East. Again, they don't know where or for how long.

byMarcia Hill

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