FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- Family, friends, and comrades gathered at the Army Community Service Center Nov. 3 to bid farewell to more than 80 Soldiers assigned to the 418th Medical Logistics Company who are deploying to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Ceremony host, Lt. Col. Cephus Roupe, commander, 1st Medical Brigade (Provisional), Fort Hood, Texas, said "I ask the Soldiers of the 418th to be as proud of your unit's pre-deployment as I am. Your unit has been commended for the training and preparations at Camp Bullis."

Roupe, who has been deployed numerous times, said to the Soldiers, "The medical logistics operations you are being asked to perform will save American, Allied lives, and make a difference to the Iraqi people.
You are here for your units, your Family and your nation. You know this and believe it. Otherwise, you could not leave loved ones behind."
No one believes in her Family and nation more than Spc. Tiffany Marie English Combs, whose three children will be separated and cared for by different Family members while she is deployed.

"It is sad to separate my Family but I have to do what I have to do," said Combs.

"I have a little bit of separation problems, but she is doing something good and the grandparents will be helping out a lot," said Combs husband Chris, who works on Fort Sam Houston.

Sgt. 1st Class Andre Barnes, now on his second deployment said, "Deployments are tough. Anytime you leave your Family it is tough, but we have faith that everything will be alright."

The 418th Medical Logistics Company is deploying to provide direct support for Class VIII supplies that include single/multi-vision optical lens fabrication and repair, and medical equipment maintenance to Corps, Division and Joint Task Force within the area of operations; supporting front-line Soldiers combating terrorists in Iraq and re-establishing a government infrastructure to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people.