Oregon National Guard unit says goodbye before heading to Afghan - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon National Guard unit says goodbye before heading to Afghanistan

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SALEM, OR (KPTV) -

For the first time in three years, an Oregon military unit is deploying to Afghanistan, and the soldiers said their goodbyes at a farewell ceremony in Salem Thursday.

With their relatives and Governor Kate Brown cheering them on, 30 members of the 1186th Military Police Company of the Oregon National Guard prepared to ship out to their new post.

The unit will be providing security and military police support for Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan. It’s the third time this unit has deployed to that region since 2001.

For some soldiers with this National Guard unit, it is their first deployment overseas, while for others it is their fourth. They all share a common commitment to serve their country and represent Oregon.

Guard members and their families agree it’s a tough sacrifice, but they say they’re ready and willing to take it on.

“It’s super tough because she’s five, but I’ll get back just in time for the next year’s birthday, and of course I’ll miss her,” Elliot Torres said. “This will be the sixth time we’ve missed our anniversary.”

“Honestly, I’m very excited to go. I’ve been waiting for this for a very long time,” Erin Drews added. “I’ve been in for 11 and a half years. I’m very excited to put all my training to use.”

Members of the 1186th will first go to Texas for further training, and then they’ll head over to Afghanistan.

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