Soldiers leave Owensboro for deployment to Middle East

A family hugs before the second group of soldiers is deployed Friday from Owensboro
A family hugs before the second group of soldiers is deployed Friday from Owensboro
Updated: Jul. 26, 2019 at 12:05 PM CDT
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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - More than 150 Kentucky soldiers are starting their deployment to the Middle East.

The National Guard says the 206th Engineer Battalion will be stationed at a US Central Command in the Middle East.

The first group boarded the plane at 10:30 a.m. Friday.

The second group left the armory 1:30 p.m.

On Thursday, there was a special deployment ceremony at the Owensboro Convention Center.

“I am extremely confident in the abilities of each Soldier to accomplish our mission," said Lt. Col. Michael Lawson, commander for the 206th. "We have worked hard over the last 20 months to prepare for this deployment and the dedication to mission accomplishment these Soldiers have shown is noteworthy.”

[206th Engineer Battalion deploys for mission in Middle East]

The unit was last deployed in 2006 to Kuwait during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, the Kentucky National Guard has mobilized more than 18,000 Soldiers and Airmen in support of the Global War on Terror.

Looking at the scene on Friday, you would may think some of the children were just having a good time and they were. But, they have to say goodbye to their family members leaving overseas.

“My mom is leaving for the Army," said one little boy. "My mom is my superhero”

Some soldiers held their children for the last time for a year. Others got one last meal from a favorite restaurant.

For the Larken family, they have two family members going overseas.

Amy Larkin and her family have done this before when their soldier, Amy’s husband, did a tour in 2006.

“That will change when they’re gone and it sets in that they’re not here for birthdays and Christmas and all of that stuff,” said Amy.

“Nervous, because he’s going to be gone and I don’t know whats going to happen,” said young Sarah Larkin.

As the soldiers line up and board the buses for the airport, their families can’t help but be nervous.

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