NEW CASTLE, DE (CBS) – Thursday held bittersweet moments for a group of Delaware Army National Guardsman. Their more than year of training is paying off as they get closer to their mission in Afghanistan. But saying goodbye to their loved one’s, is as hard as it gets.
“It’s never easy, it never gets easy for anybody,” said Sergeant Dustin Myers as he stood with his wife and son.
The 153rd Military Police Company is scheduled for a 12 month-tour, where they will protect personnel and equipment, as well as mentor the Afghan National Police.
Staff Sergeant Chris Brookens held his baby girl Madison, who just turned 10-months-old Thursday, “She learns something new everyday so, it’s difficult you know you’re going to miss them when you’re gone.”
These soldiers are heading overseas during a time of turbulence, and one that holds questions about the United States’ timeline in Afghanistan.
All forces are expected to be out of the country by 2014, but the U.S. Commander in Afghanistan has told the Pentagon we should keep 6,000 to 20,000 thousand troops in after the date.
Major General Francis Vavala told the crowded room more guardsmen will be deployed later this year. “By mid-summer the 153rd will be joined by 500 of their colleagues.”
Dr. Jill Biden and Governor Jack Markell joined the send off ceremony.
The soldier’s final moments with friends and family were filled with tears, hugs, and heartfelt goodbyes, not to mention warm wishes for these soldiers to come home safe.
The 153rd boarded buses headed to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, where they will train for 4 to 6 weeks, before heading to Afghanistan.