Thousands of Hawaii Soldiers Prepare to Leave For War

Master Sergeant John Peacock
Master Sergeant John Peacock
Sherry Peacock
Sherry Peacock

WAHIAWA (KHNL) -- Thousands of Hawaii-based soldiers learn Monday they need to once again leave their families for a deployment to Iraq.

This latest assignment involves two units from Schofield Barracks. They are among seven combat brigades being sent back to Iraq.

The soldiers will be headed to the Middle East by the time summer is over. The assignment is for the 25th Infantry Division Headquarters, and the 3rd Brigade 25th Infantry Division. Starting this Fall, 4500 soldiers total will leave Hawaii to fight in the war on terrorism.

Like many freedom fighters, Master Sergeant John Peacock talks about his second deployment without fear, only pride.

"This is important to me, and it's my duty and responsibility. I'd say it's easier. There's no more of that 'I don't know what to expect. I've been there, shouldn't be a big deal," said Peacock.

Peacock is among soldiers from the 25th Infantry who returned home last Fall, around the same time the 2nd Stryker Brigade left for combat. A year later, it's time to say goodbye once again.

"I had {our son} while he was gone during the first deployment. Now you know he's obviously attached to Daddy so it'll be more difficult to say goodbye and for me too but we'll be here when he gets back," said Peacock's wife, Sherry.

Despite a year without loved ones, military families say there is comfort in knowing the tour of duty will be shorter.

Starting August first, the Army says all active army units will deploy for no more than 12 months.

The deployment is part of the Army's announcement on Monday of the Fall 2008 rotations, which affects 25,000 U.S. soldiers.