UPDATED: Thursday, April 4, 2013 - 8:55pm
Fort Hood, TX — It has been 12 years since the American government sent troops to Afghanistan. And today, 500 soldiers from Fort Hood participated in a deployment ceremony.
Hundreds of people gathered today to honor the soon departure of Fort Hood's III Corps to Kabul, Afghanistan.
The ceremony is called the casing of colors; Flags representing Fort Hood's different units are represented on base. Before they leave their flag is taken down, covered and stored away until they come home.
Lt. Gen. Mark Milley and his 500 Phantom Warriors – soldiers from III Corp – will deploy for a year to assist Afghan forces in Kabul.
Milley remembers the early stages of the war.
“You walked into a society that was utterly shattered. There were no businesses. No traffic, said Milley. People were walking around Kabul in a state of, I don’t know if I would call it shock, but it would remind you of something you would have seen in old photographs from World War 2 like Hamburg and Dresden. It was a shell of a city and utterly destroyed.”
He says the area is much different a decade later.
“If you were to go to Kabul today, you’ll be in traffic jams.- Vehicles all over the place. You’ll see small businesses all over the street- vendors and corporations. The level of improvement is striking," said Milley.
The group of soldiers will officially depart April 15th.