HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - People in the Hampton Roads military community are reacting after hearing that additional troops will be deployed to the Middle East.
The U.S. will deploy thousands of additional troops to the Middle East as tensions with Iran mount following the airstrike that killed Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani, a US defense official tells CNN.
The additional troops will come from the Immediate Response Force of the 82nd Airborne Division.
CNN has previously reported that these forces had been placed on prepare-to-deploy orders and would be sent to the region if the situation merited it.
News 3 reached out to military support groups on Friday.
First Vice Commander of the American Legion Braxton-Perkins Post 25 Dale Presley stressed the importance of supporting the troops.
He said his agency supports our troops and their families 100%.
“We need to not be divided about what is going on. We need to support our troops,” said Mark Shockley, a retired Chief Boatswains Mate of the U.S. Coast Guard and member of several veteran support groups in the region.
“It’s a stressful time. Your loved ones are going away, and you might not be able to talk to him for a few months,” said Shockley. “Every night, you’re sitting by the TV.”
Shockley said he is worried about all the members of the military, which includes his nephew, his son and neighbor.
“They need to know that the people over here have their backs just as much as they’re over there having our backs,” said Shockley.
Presley had a message to the troops.
“Not knowing what is going to happen can really get to you inside, but remember there are people that are here supporting you and are here for you when you get back.”
Shockley encourages members of the public to send care packages to those overseas, write letters and wear red on Fridays for those who are deployed.
“Every night when I go home, I pray for everybody over there and I just hope that everybody comes home safe,” said Shockley.
Below are a list of groups that support the troops:
- American Legion Braxton-Perkins Post 25
- USO of Hampton Roads and Central Virginia
- Just Our Soldiers' Helpers (J.O.S.H.)
- Valor Box