Lynchburg, VA - The War on Terror started eight years ago, after the September 11th attacks. Since then, American troops have continued to go back and forth from Iraq and Afghanistan. It's a war unlike any other in American history. Split between Iraq and Afghanistan, this is the first time so many service members are seeing so many deployments.
Sgt. William Henderson is going on his third deployment. "I think it is good because you are sending guys that are experienced back over. If they are physically capable of going back over," he said.
Lynchburg-based 1st Battalion of the 116th Virginia National Guard will deploy to Iraq next month. Almost all the soldiers already have a battle patch.
"They're all wearing patches on their right sleeve and they've been over sometime before," Sgt. Henderson said. And many have family members also serving.
"My dad actually is over in Afghanistan right now, so I'm going to be gone and it's going to be kind of hard on my mom," Spc. Daniel Alexander said.
Staff Sgt. Fred Bushey is soon leaving on his fourth deployment.
"I've got a son that's active Army and he's already had his second deployment also and he's in a unit that deploys all the time," he said. "He's on a rotation where when he's deployed, I'm at home. I deploy when he's home so it makes it kind of fun on the family."
Sergeant William Henderson is worried about how his youngest will handle daddy leaving again.
"It was tough for him the last time I was gone. We're hoping for him that he does better this time around," Sgt. Henderson said.
And every one of those guys will tell you: next year's deployment probably won't be their last. Some expect to get called to Afghanistan, after they get back from Iraq.
"I'm not looking forward to that one but if I get sent, I'll go there and do my duty," Staff Sgt. Bushey said.
Last week, President Barack Obama committed another 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. Some believe it's a sign the war will continue for many more years.