Poplar Bluff troops prepare for Afghanistan deployment - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Poplar Bluff troops prepare for Afghanistan deployment

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By Tyler Profilet - bio | email

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - The 205th Military Police Battalion will be heading to Camp Clark, MO, on Friday for training before they deploy to Afghanistan in April.

For some soldiers, it's their third deployment, while for others it's their first.

But regardless of how many times they've been overseas, they are all focused on the mission ahead.

Sgt Jonathan Brainard with the Missouri National Guard approaches war zones in Afghanistan like it's his office.  He's preparing for his third tour, and it's all business.

"It's just fine," Brainard said. "I'm just going over there to do my job and make some money, so it's not really a bad deal."

The battalion spent the day checking off the final things on their list, and experienced soldiers like Brained freely give tips to the younger troops.

"Be sure to bring snacks, blankets, sheets," he said. "Sheets are not something that's easy to come by over there."

Soldiers making their first deployments aren't quite as calm as Sgt. Brainard.

"There's a whole series of things I need to get ready for," said Spc. Jacob Heitmeyer.  "It's an adrenaline rush, but I'm excited."

"Most of them don't have any idea what they're going into," added Sgt. Brainard.  "They just see what's portrayed though the media so that bothers them a little bit. Once they get over there, they'll be better."

Sgt. Brainard says it gets easier to say goodbye to his family as he racks up more deployments, but it's tough for first timers like Spc. Heitmeyer.

"It's been interesting," Heitmeyer said. "My mom, she's kind of been crazy with everything, but I love her.  And my family has been very supportive, and they know that I'm doing something good."

The battalion will return to Poplar Bluff next month before a sendoff ceremony on March 11th.

The troops are expected to complete their deployment in April 2011.

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