Published 8:08 am Sunday, February 3, 2013

Misti Stewart, leader of the Family Readiness Group for the 205th Engineer Battalion of the Louisiana Army National Guard, warned everybody to get out early to line the streets in a show of support when the soldiers deployed Saturday morning. But the troops surprised everyone when they left a full half hour early, at 7:30 a.m. Even the Bogalusa Fire Department was on its way to the armory for the send-off when it got the call that the two big buses and their law enforcement escorts had already gone. Folks who assembled when the convoy was due to leave, many with flags waving or Daily News flag inserts taped to their cars, were disappointed. Bob Purvis said he would have arrived earlier if he’d only known.