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2101st to deploy on Sunday

On Sunday, Jan. 10, the 2101st Transportation Company will deploy to Iraq, making its second deployment in the war in that country, having served in 2004-05.

On Saturday at 10 a.m., there will be a special program at Demopolis High School’s gymnasium honoring that unit, which is made up of 150 to 200 servicepeople from Demopolis, Aliceville and Butler.

“We will leave here on Sunday for Fort Dix, N.J.,” said company commander Capt. Kelvin Perkins. “We will do more training and preparation for deployment, spending a couple of weeks there, maybe a month. Then, we will go from there to Iraq. From the time we leave here to the time we get back, it will be 12 months.”

Perkins said the training that the company receives at Fort Dix will determine the company’s duties overseas. He added that although the company is initially expected to deploy to Iraq, the location could change, depending on how events unfold.

Perkins said that he served overseas in the current conflict 2006-07 with the 226th Area Support Group based in Mobile.

He added that an Army Post Office (APO) address for the company would not be known until about the time the company leaves Fort Dix for Iraq, but there will be someone at the Armory to help with those who want to support the local troops.

The war in Afghanistan — also called Operation: Enduring Freedom — began on Oct. 7, 2001, in response to the attack on the World Trade Center earlier that year. The Iraq War — also called Operation: Iraqi Freedom — began on March 20, 2003.

They are the longest wars in U.S. history and, with the help of the efforts of our local heroes, may soon be resolved.