Almost half of North Carolina's 11,700 Army and Air National Guardsmen are serving overseas as part of the 30th Brigade. Five soldiers are deployed together with the 1/120th Battalion, 30th Brigade. All of them are East Carolina University alumni. The article contains letters the soldiers wrote home. One soldier, Captain Christopher C. Cash, was killed in action June 24, 2004. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star for heroism.