Nearly 40 troops out of Thomaston's National Guard Unit are home for the holidays and are headed back out on Jan. 2, this time to Fort Stewart.
The troops have been involved with in-processing, medical testing and weapons qualifications during their training at Fort Gordon since Dec. 8. The soldiers will receive more intensive training for three months at Fort Stewart, near Savannah.
They will take part in war games in which they practice tactics, caring for wounded, and other situations.
"After some time at Fort Stewart, they may head to the National Training Center (NTC) in California for their desert environment training," said Lt. Col. John Driscoll of Public Relations for the Georgia National Guard.
If the troops do go to the NTC they will participate in a final mission rehearsal before deploying to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
As of right now there is no definite date for deployment to Iraq. Although it is probable that the troops will be going.
Close to 3,500 members of the Georgia Guard's 48th Infantry Brigade received word in November that they would mobilize in support of the Global War on Terrorism in Iraq.
Training began in early December when nearly a third of the unit's soldiers were activated for initial processing and training.
Also, nearly 50 of the unit's leaders headed to Kuwait and Iraq for a pre-deployment visit to the locations they would set up bases.
They are expected to remain in Iraq for at least a year.
"Georgians can be proud of the men and women of the 48th Infantry Brigade," said Brigadier General Stewart Rodeheaver, commander of the 48th Brigade.
"They have shown in the past that they can accomplish the mission when their country calls, and I have no doubt they will do so once again with this important deployment."
To date, more than 4,000 Georgia Army and Air National Guard members have been called to duty since the September 11, 2001 attacks on America. Some 550 are currently on active duty, including 350 in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things," said John Stuart Mill (1806-1873). "The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse.
"The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing that is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made so and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."