ASHLAND, Ore. — Friday hundreds of service members and their supporters gathered inside the McNeal Pavilion on the Southern Oregon University campus for a mobilization ceremony. Congressman Greg Walden and Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown spoke to the group headed for Afghanistan. This weekend the service members leave for a 60-day training in Texas, and then move overseas.
Sue Zeller and her family are extremely proud of her son, Devon. He is in the 186th Infantry. This will be his second deployment. “When he went to Iraq it was horrible and it’s bad now too. You just can only you can do pray, pray for the boys to be safe,” she said.
She and her family will pray for him to come back safely to his wife and two little ones.
“This time I know it’s a lot harder on him because we have kids so … you know that’s on the back of his mind,” said his wife Caressa.
The Oregon Secretary of State and Congressman Greg Walden thanked the soldiers and their families for being so strong.
While the service members are away, the Oregon National Guard’s Family Assistance Specialist Tracey Haeckler promises to look after the families. “I’m always there. If they’re having a bad day, if they need to know about a new resource or just kind of what’s going on in the military community.”