The Wisconsin National Guard held a sendoff ceremony at UW-Stout on July 14 as nearly 400 soldiers from the 1st Batallion, 128th Infantry prepare for deployment to Afghanistan.
While the 128th has deployed many times since 9/11, this deployment will mark its first to Afghanistan. The troops will provide security for coalition forces operating in the region.
Only about 30% of the unit has deployed before and friends and family were emotional as they prepared to say goodbye to their loved ones.
“Being a military mom never prepares you for something like this,” said Daimy Carrasco, whose son is being deployed for the first time. “I thought I was but I’m not.”
The Wisconsin National Guard’s Commander in Chief, Governor Tony Evers, along with Congressman Ron Kind, spoke at the ceremony to thank soldiers and their families for their service.
“I wish you all Godspeed as you deploy overseas,” Evers said.” “It’s your service and sacrifices that help ensure freedom and liberties that we enjoy as Americans.”
The unit will first head to Fort Hood in Texas to complete training prior to deployment.
If all goes as planned, the troops are projected to return summer 2020.