Soldiers of the U.S. Army Reserves 317th Engineer Company based at Kankakee were packing up over the weekend for departure Tuesday to Camp Atterbury in Indiana and then to Iraq.

But as the 161 soldiers depart, they can have the comfort of knowing that folks at home "will be covering their six while they're gone," Brig. Gen. (retired) Jack Kotter, of Bourbonnais, said Saturday at a "Community Covenant Signing Ceremony" at the Reserve Center on Airport Road.

"Covering their six" is military terminology meaning "we've got their back," he said, following the ceremony.

The community covenant was signed by officials of Kankakee, Bradley and Bourbonnais to foster partnerships with the Army to improve the quality of life for soldiers and their families.