Elmira/Corning Regional Airport


Local Soldiers to Deploy to Qatar

Written By: Tanja Rekhi
Local Soldiers to Deploy to Qatar

HORNELL --[WENY] Members of the 222nd military police company will deploy for 9 to twelve months after training in Mississippi.
     "I think I speak for most if not all of the troops-- the reason we continue to do it is we really believe in serving the country and the state," said Jim Pabis, Brigade Commander.
These troops are heading out on the first leg of a trip that will land them in the Middle East.
     Some have served overseas and for others, this is is the first step in a lifelong dream.
     "I'm thinking of making the military a career and if not, I wanna get into law enforcement and this gives you a lot of contacts a lot of experience and it's a good way to get started in a career like that," said Joseph Palumbo who is deploying for the first time.
     Sergeant Shane Stevens was deployed to Baghdad in 2006.
     "It doesn't really get easier but now you have skype and other forms of technology where communication is a lot easier, so it'll be a lot easier than the last time," said Shane Stevens.
     To his daughter, he's a hero.
     "He's a soldier he wants to keep the world safe," said 10-year-old Natalie Stevens.
     Lots of yellow roses like this one were given out today and friends and family are praying for safe returns and say they couldn't be prouder of their men and women in uniform.
     The yellow rose is a symbol of love and support for soldiers and their families.
     Joseph Palumbo's girlfriend, Kelsey Russell, talked to me about what it was like when he first told her about his decision.
     "I knew this is what he wanted but I was also upset because I knew it would be a long time going without seeing him but being happy for him outweighed the sad I guess," said Kelsey Russell.
     They've been together for two years.
     "Thank you to all my friends and family for everything and.. think about us while we're gone, we'll be back soon," said Palumbo.