HOOKSETT, N.H. (CBS) – A group of Army reservists heading to Afghanistan got an official sendoff.

Fourteen members of the 428th Engineer Detachment will work on improving the infrastructure in Afghanistan over the next year.

It’s a small unit but their mission is crucial.

Each one of these troops has a story to tell. The unit includes Arthur Segawa of Brighton, born in Uganda and now serving his new country.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Smith reports

The unit will train for six weeks in Texas, and then it’s off to Afghanistan for about a year. The challenges are obvious, but the biggest one might be the separation from family.

The timing is difficult with the holidays coming up. One family includes a reservist who has already served three tours of duty, two in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, but now he’s leaving six-month-old Jeffrey behind.

“Its a little sad but I’ve done it before minus baby so it’ll be all right,” says Dawn Vannorman.

“It will be harder on her, gonna be hard on me to leave but I’m gonna have to trust that she’ll hang in there with him nicely,” says Reservist Edward Vannorman.

First and foremost, they are soldiers, but one reservist from New Bedford says it about something else.

“When we go over there it’s actually really nice because it’s like a humanitarian mission,” says Cathy Perry. “We’ll go in we’ll build schools, wells, chow halls so it will serve soldiers and the locals in Afghanistan.”

The unit is made up of members from throughout New England including four from Massachusetts.

  1. Sandra Mare says:

    Cathy Perry is my daughter and I couldn’t be prouder of her and her fellow soldiers.

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