ROUND ROCK (KXAN) - Specialist Ariane Rodgers spent the day Wednesday doing a final check of her equipment before she leaves for training at Fort Hood and then on to Afghanistan for a nine month deployment.
"I think its another great opportunity to serve for the Army and the country," said Rodgers, who just returned from a two year deployment to Kuwait last year. "I joined active duty right after high school. Just wanted to serve my country, pay for college. It's a good job."
Rodgers, 24, volunteered for the Afghanistan mission, even though she will be leaving her parents and other family members behind again.
"They accept it- its what I'm doing- so they support me in it," she said. "Its just a calling- its just a feeling like this is something that I should do."
Brigadier General William Hall will command the mission and ultimately be in charge of 900 U.S. military personnel at Camp Phoenix in Kabul.
"There are a lot of opportunities to do good things for the citizens of Afghanistan as we draw down there," said Hall. "They want it- they want to own it- and they are."
The unit will be in charge of operations at the base along with providing protection, emergency services and support operations.
"Probably the biggest challenge is the uncertainty in the road ahead both for the Afghans and the U.S. forces as we move in and draw down forces- that natural friction that happens," said Hall.
The soldiers will take part in a special farewell ceremony for family and friends on Friday at Hendrickson High School in Pflugerville at 10:30 a.m.
The freezing and near-freezing rain that swooped into Central Texas overnight prompted numerous school closings and delays and made for a harrowing morning commute on Friday.
A man is expected to survive after being stabbed in the head at the Salvation Army shelter in Downtown Austin at about 3:45 a.m. Friday.
Investigators are looking into an overnight fire that left one woman with third-degree burns.
Caldwell County residents gathered Thursday evening to organize their fight against a proposed landfill that they say poses a hazard that they don't need.
The pastor of the Austin church attended by the teacher who was killed Thursday in Benghazi remembered him as a spiritual friend dedicated to improving the lives of others.
As the Austin area prepares itself for an impending winter storm on Friday, Dec. 6, many schools have already announced delays.