The soldiers had said their tearful goodbyes and exchanged hugs and kisses with family and friends. They had boarded the buses that would take them to the airplane when the word came that they would be spending another night at home.
Camelia Degeratu was walking back to her car when she heard the news after sending off her boyfriend. She said it was hard to say goodbye and had been prepared not to see him.
Sunday was to have been the first of several large-scale deployments of 18th Airborne Corps soldiers to Iraq. The 18th Airborne Corps headquarters staff and support units will spend the next 15 months in charge of the Multi-National Forces in the Middle East.