MEDFORD, Ore. -- Oregon soldiers are getting ready to deploy to countries in the eastern hemisphere over the next few weeks.
Oregon Army National Guard said about 1,600 Oregon soldiers will deploy to Qatar, Kosovo and Djibouti.
People from all across the state are coming together to help the families of those being deployed. The deployment will last about 10 months. Pete Pringle is the chair of the Rogue Valley Veteran Network, a group also known as vet-net. He told NewsWatch12 he knows most of the National Guard being deployed from Oregon are all young. Most are have newborns or babies on the way.
"So they're not gonna be used to being away from their families and the families aren't going to be used to their soldier being away from home," Pringle said, "So they're going to need extra support and that's what we're trying to provide."
Vet-net is focusing its efforts on this upcoming deployment. Volunteers plan to send care packages to the soldiers. Here at home, more volunteers plan to help the families with anything that might come up. Some people are volunteering to help soldiers' families with lawn care, babysitting, mental health counseling and even free legal help.
Pringle is a veteran himself. He served 23 years in the Navy. Now he's devoted his life to bettering the lives of other veterans.
"It's very rewarding, like when someone comes to you and they need assistance and are kind-of stuck where they're at and you give them something to help them move forward and get a better life or make their life better somehow," Pringle said. "It's very rewarding and it hits your heart very hard."
Vet-net is always looking for volunteers to offer services to help those in need.