National Guard Unit Returns To Rocky Mount

Soldiers of the 1132nd Military Police Company based in Rocky Mount as part of the North Carolina National Guard are scheduled to come home Tuesday evening, though not everyone who deployed will return.

The company has seen a disproportionate loss of life since it deployed to Iraq in September 2007. Five of the company's soldiers died in the war. By definition, a company may have no more than 190 soldiers in it. Officials say many more remain in military hospitals around the country.

Two of the soldiers who died were from Eastern Carolina. Staff Sergeant Emanuel Pickett of Wallace in Duplin County died in April. Pickett was a detective with the Wallace Police Department. He was 34.

Sgt. David Blake Williams of Tarboro also died during this deployment. He was 26 years old.

The other casualties include Sgt. Thomas C. Ray of Weaverville, N.C., Sgt. Lance O. Eakes of Apex, N.C. and Spc. David S. Steland, who was from New Hampshire.

The approximately 120 soldiers are scheduled to fly in to the airport
between Wilson and Rocky Mount around 4:45 p.m. Tuesday. The National Guard is encouraging people to line Highway 97 near the airport in Elm City to welcome the soldiers home.

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