Guardsmen keep in touch with home
STANDING TALL Sam Ivy, left, Brad Higginbotham, Robert Crenshaw, Anthony L. "Scooter" Ford, Kerry Myers and Jim Vaughn all members of the 186th Air Refueling Wing of the Mississippi Air National Guard stand guard in an undisclosed location overseas. They are on active duty in Operation Enduring Freedom and keep up with their hometown through The Meridian Star Web site. Submitted photo
By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
April 29, 2002
Somewhere in a hot dry desert thousands of miles away from home, six Mississippi Air National Guardsmen from Meridian point and click their way to the latest hometown news.
While on active duty in Operation Enduring Freedom at an undisclosed location overseas, the men frequently e-mail family and friends. And they follow local news on The Meridian Star Web site.
Ford and the other five guardsmen are all members of the 186th Air Refueling Wing. Four of the six also are members of the Meridian Fire Department.
Guardsmen monitor new
Ford said one of the biggest news stories he and the other guardsmen have followed on the Web is the issue of firefighters' pay.
The Meridian City Council voted earlier this month to give all city employees, including firefighters and police officers, a 2.5 percent raise.
Connie Myers of Meridian, said her 21-year-old son, Kerry one of the six members of the 186th stationed with Ford was happy about the announcement of the raise.
Families say goodbye
Ford and other other guardsmen left Meridian around 7 a.m. on Feb. 28. Ford said it was tough for him to leave home, his wife and his children. He declined to identify his family for security reasons.
Myers said it's been easier than she expected dealing with her son's absence.
Weather requires adjustment
Ford said one of the biggest adjustments guardsmen had to make once they arrived overseas was the heat. He said the temperature can reach as high as 120 degrees.
And, he said, there are no trees for shade.
Ford said he and the others are looking forward to returning home.