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Soldiers Say Goodbye and Head for Duty

soldiers leave for dutyMEDFORD, Ore. — The soldiers and their families have been preparing for months, but now the time has come to say “see you soon.”  They’ll be away for about 11 months.

On Sunday two fleets of buses took soldiers from the 186 Infantry to the airport so they could report for duty.

Service members said they are proud to serve their country.  For many this isn’t their first deployment.  Some went overseas in 2010 to help fight the war in Iraq, while others have been overseas more than once.

For family members the goodbyes are filled with emotion.  The soldiers will be gone for nearly a year and for many of them this will be the last time they will see their families in person before their journey.

Technology, however, is helping to make the distance easier. Service members will be able to Skype home and communicate with their families via the Internet.

“I’ve got a little one, and she doesn’t really understand that daddy is coming back. She just knows daddy is going away for a long time… yeah it will be hard, but we’ll get through it, but we always do,” said Sgt. Major Bradley Grant Huppunen.

Three hundred total National Guard members from the Rogue Valley are being deployed.  They are doing a service mission in Afghanistan.