Missoula based soldiers to deploy to Afghanistan


by Irina Cates

MISSOULA – The U.S. Army Reserve 823rd Movement Control Team (MCT) is heading off to Fort Hood Tuesday and will then deploy to Afghanistan.

"Their mission is important. They've been well trained and they are well led. We will do our best to bring them home safely," say Col. Tey Wiseman, U.S. Army.

Loved ones clung to their soldiers as they prepared to send them off to Afghanistan for a year. The 823rd MCT will leave behind its jobs, college studies, and families to serve our country.

"It is very difficult. We've only been married for a year now and it's going to be hard on her and it's going to be hard on me," says Staff Sergeant Alexander Hiday, 823rd Movement Control Team.

"Our second year being married and he's going to be gone, it hard. But I'm in school right now, so it keeps me really busy-kind of keeps my mind off it," added Hiday's wife, Kelly.

The unit is comprised of 21 soldiers who trained for most of 2011.

"Our unit's basic function is to conduct movement control of units, cargo, personnel in and out of the designated area of operations by air, ground, or sea," Captain Peter Demaras, 823rd MCT Commander.

"I'm really excited to take all the training that we've had in the past few months to get over there and be able to support and supply out battle that we're fighting over there," Specialist Shawn Isaak, 823rd Movement Control Team.

Montana Senator Jon Tester thanked the soldiers for their service as he helped send off.

"We'll be thinking of you every day while you're deployed. When you come home as veterans we'll do our best to live up to the promises this country has made to our military fighters," Tester said.