Standing room only at soldier send off in Sparta - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Standing room only at soldier send off in Sparta

SPARTA, IL (KFVS) -

It was a packed house at an emotional send-off for Illinois soldiers bound for Afghanistan Thursday.

Family, friends and community members were left with standing room only at the World Shooting Complex Event Center to honor the soldiers of the 661st Engineer Company. The venue was so full, late comers had to crowd in doorways to sneak a peak, unable to get in.

The 161 soldiers from all across the state leave for fort bliss, Texas Friday and then head to Afghanistan in early November.

The 661st engineers will rebuild roads and work to prepare sites for future construction during their one-year deployment.

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