WAYNESBORO, PA. - "Be aware of your surroundings. Be polite. But never trust anyone," Army Master Sgt. Robert Gehres II said.
After three deployments to Iraq, it was this simple charge he offered his son, Spc. Robert Gehres III, who loaded the bus on Saturday to head to Mississippi to train for a yearlong deployment to Iraq.
"And come home safe," said his stepmother, Sgt. Cari Mueller.
For months, Gehres' troop, Troop C, 2nd Squadron, 104th Cavalry, has waited for Saturday to arrive.
Saturday marked the beginning of a long 15 months for Charlie Troop.
The buses idling outside the armory in Waynesboro waited to take the troop to Indiantown Gap, Pa., where it would leave for three months of training at Camp Shelby, Miss.
From there, the troop will land in Iraq for a yearlong mission in Iraq.
Unlike the celebration thrown by UAW Local 1296 in July, the ceremony on Saturday was no picnic.