06/03/07 — Seymour airmen deployed

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Seymour airmen deployed

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on June 3, 2007 2:01 AM

The neighborhoods on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and beyond are a bit quieter these days as few by few, more than 300 airmen from the 4th Fighter Wing deployed last month.

In the past few weeks, airmen from numerous squadrons began tours overseas in support of the Global War on Terror, officials said.

Fourth Mission Support Group Commander Col. Russell Walden said his team was prepared to see each of them off safely and proud to be a part of the ongoing fight against terrorism.

"The 4th Mission Support Group personnel continually and successfully complete their mission by ensuring Team Seymour personnel are ready to deploy and fight in the Global War on Terror," he said. "We are very proud to have deployed more than 300 personnel in this deployment cycle, and we will keep preparing our war-fighters to provide air power on-target, on-time for America."

Some Wayne County residents said they feel honored to live in the same county as Seymour airmen and will support the troops in whatever way they can.

"It's great to know that the people you walk amongst every day are the ones going over there to fight for freedom," Billy Randolph said. "We've been keeping an American flag up since Iraq started. I'm not taking it down until our men and women come home."

Janet Sasser agreed.

"When people ask me where I grew up I always tell them with pride," the 46-year-old said. "I say, 'You know, Goldsboro. Where Seymour Johnson is."

Like Randolph, she, too will pay her respects to the airmen until they return.

"I have this Air Force flag. It was my father's," she said. "I keep it up over the garage to show my neighbors that I support what they are doing for all of us. I could never do what they are doing. They're special people and they should know."

Margaret Walker knows how each family member left behind must feel. She used to have to watch her Marine father deploy.

"I hope all the people left behind have someone watching out for them," she said. "In this town, I know they do."