By Chris Day
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Twenty soldiers with the U.S. Army Reserve 327th Transportation Detachment will start their journey to Afghanistan Saturday during a farewell ceremony at the Elks Lodge, 202 E. McElroy Ave., in Stillwater.
The 3 p.m. ceremony is expected to include speeches by Stillwater Mayor John Bartley, State Rep. Cory Williams, D-Stillwater, and ret. Maj. Gen. James Sholar.
It will be the first deployment for the 327th, which was organized in 2008. The detachment is part of the 4th Sustainment Command, the 90th Sustainment Brigade and the 316th Quartermaster Battalion.
The soldiers in the 327th will first go to Fort Hood near Killeen, Texas.
They are expected to be deployed to Afghanistan in March, 1st Lt. Anton Bruelhart said in a telephone interview Wednesday.
The 327th will coordinate, track, command and control the transportation of personnel, containers, vehicles and material in Afghan-istan.
“We will be in charge of cargo movement of containers and equipment in and out of Afghanistan,” Bruelhart said.
Thursday night, the City Council will issue a proclamation making Thursday Army Reserve 327th TC Detachment day.
The proclamation thanks the 327th for its service to the nation. It tells the soldiers the community will pray for their safe return to their families, Bartley said.
“I am honored to be a part of (the ceremony),” Bartley said.
The city of Stillwater appreciates the work and sacrifices the troops are making, he said, adding his speech will reflect the proclamation’s desire for a safe deployment.
“It will be short and heartfelt,” Bartley said.
Bruelhart said the farewell ceremony is open to the public and encouraged residents to attend.