“Words cannot even begin to describe how I am feeling right now, I mean I am ecstatic, my husband is coming home,” said Cathey Hendrix, wife of 108th solider, Harley Hendrix.
“We don’t know for sure when their boots will hit the ground but we do know it is soon,” said Hendrix who is on the 108th homecoming celebration committee.
The soldiers will fly in to Fort Stewart in Hinesville, Ga., where they will undergo out-processing before being sent home.
“Hopefully, prayerfully, they will be here soon,” said 108th Family Coordinator Deborah Kelley.
Though a specific date has not been set, organizers will let the community know the soldier’s day of arrival via the Calhoun Times and local radio stations. Kelley, whose husband has been deployed with the 108th, said the unit’s arrival should fall between now and March 7.
Rome’s Company A, part of the 48th, is expected to arrive at Fort Stewart on Wednesday.
The out-processing should take about five days and once complete, the soldiers will board buses and be driven back to Calhoun.
According to plans made earlier this year, they will leave Interstate 75 at exit 312 and will be taken to the parking lot of the former Justin Dodge dealership, on Ga. 53 where they will load onto flatbed trucks so that they can be greeted along the parade route.
Hendrix says she is hoping for a big turnout of local support from residents of Gordon County.
“It is very important for everyone to show up and show how much they appreciate these guys. They are fighting for a reason, and we are that reason,” Hendrix said. “They are keeping us safe.”
Hendrix is encouraging all residents to hang American flags and yellow ribbons on trees and in front yards.
Hendrix is also encouraging everyone to buy a welcome home T-shirt designed by her husband, Harley Hendrix. The T-shirts will benefit the Officer’s Fund and 108th Memorial Fund. The shirts are available in both long and short sleeve, in both adult and children’s sizes.
The shirts are gray and feature a unique skull design with the words “1st Squadron, 108th Calvary Roughrider, Come What Will.”
“The guys want a sea of gray,” Hendrix said. “We need to show that we love them. We’ve had some losses, it’s been a long year and half.”
The cost of the shirt is $15 and can be purchased by visiting the armory on River Street or by calling 706-879-2901, the armory is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday- Saturday.
T-shirts are also on sale at Daylite Donuts.