‘A year without Daddy’|114th heads to Iraq for training police

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 6, 2009

CLINTON — Bo McLeod of Vicksburg has mixed feelings about being deployed to Iraq with the Mississippi Army National Guard’s 114th Military Police.

Six-year-old son Cole has made up his mind: “I don’t think I can make it a year without Daddy.”

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For more information or to donate to the Family Readiness Group, contact Dawn Brooks at 601-813-7740 or email.

Spc. McLeod, a canine officer with the Vicksburg Police Department’s Narcotics Division, is one of about 200 soldiers in the company deployed Wednesday, first for training at Camp Shelby near Hattiesburg then to Iraq for a year to work as police trainers as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“Not only do soldiers make a sacrifice, their families make just as much of a sacrifice,” McLeod said.

His wife, 35-year-old Sharon McLeod, remembers when her husband was deployed in 1996 to Germany during Operation Joint Endeavor.

“Before, he wasn’t going into a war situation like what we’re in now,” she said. “I didn’t have the fears that I have now.”

About half of those deployed Wednesday are from Vicksburg.

In fact, it is the fourth deployment for Staff Sgt. Nicholas Woods, a 2nd Platoon 2nd Squad leader who will patrol neighborhoods and cities in Iraq. “We have to go to Iraqi police stations and meet with the police chiefs to get them trained,” said the 30-year-old Vicksburg native.

Nicholas’ twin brother, Sgt. Christopher Woods, is also deploying again.

Company Commander Capt. Micah Taylor told the soldiers during the ceremony she had full faith in the abilities of the leaders and soldiers to “support, train and mentor Iraqi police.”

“You are ready for it,” said Taylor.

She also thanked families, friends and employers for supporting the 114th in their daily lives as well as during tours.

Summer Moseley is a member of the Family Readiness Group, a support arm for the 114th. The group raises funds and supports families and soldiers during deployment.

“Our money is for care packages. We help buy supplies so it doesn’t come out of the pockets of the family,” said Moseley, whose husband Spc. William Moseley, 30, left with the group on his first deployment.

The support group provided roses and Wacky Bears with 15-second voice recordings to give to their families.

Her husband recorded a prayer that she will play each night for their sons, Colton Jamison, 9, and Tye Moseley, 1.

The 114th also has deployed to support Operation Desert Storm, Operation Joint Endeavor, Operation Enduring Freedom and for disaster relief during hurricanes Katrina and Gustav.


Contact Tish Butts at tbutts@vicksburgpost.com