Shaw airmen prepare for Iraq deployment

By Taylor Kearns - bio | email

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, SC (WIS) - Dozens of South Carolina's bravest are getting ready to be deployed.

On Wednesday, airmen from Shaw Air Force Base spent time gathering their things and their thoughts as they get ready to head to Iraq.

Lt. Jennifer Harman runs the deployment processing department.

"We're gonna look at their folder, make sure all their requirements and everything are up to date, make sure they're not missing anything," said Lt. Harman.

The airmen get one last chance to make sure their records and finances are in order.

They also checked on their wills, powers of attorney and had the opportunity to visit with a chaplain.

If anything happens to the men and women overseas, the decisions they make today could have major consequences.

"You need everything squared away just for the fact you need someone there for you, because you're not there to represent yourself a lot of the time," said SSgt. Steven Zimmerman.

Zimmerman has been deployed several times. For him, a deployment to Iraq is old hat and processing is just one more step toward what he signed up for.

"It's finally good to get what the taxpayers paid for, you know," said SSgt. Zimmerman. "This is the whole reason I signed up to go do this, so I'm excited."

This will be Sr. Airmen Raphael Gerena's first trip to Iraq.

"Iraq will be a new climate new environment for me, so it definitely will be different but that's what you go through the training for," said Gerena.

More airmen will process through on Friday. After that,  they'll have a few days with their families before deploying to Iraq next week. They'll be gone for around 4 months.

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