2,000 La. guardsmen say farewell to loved ones as they prepare to head to the Middle East

A Louisiana National Guardman says goodbye to his family as he and the troop get ready for an...
A Louisiana National Guardman says goodbye to his family as he and the troop get ready for an overseas deployment(Rilwan Balogun)
Updated: Nov. 12, 2020 at 9:22 PM CST
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ARABI, La. (WVUE) -Thousands of Louisiana National Guard members said their goodbyes to loved ones Tuesday morning as they prepare to deploy overseas.

At Jackson Barracks, roughly 200 soldiers will board buses and head to Texas before a final stop in the Middle East in support of the United State’s Central Command Operations.

“Fellow citizens know the hard work and the challenges that our soldiers face in ensuring that we protect what matters, that we’re working with the home team. Our soldiers were all over the state. We were in Lake Charles, we were here, and this is part of what we do. I can’t stress enough, when trouble occurs, we’re the first responders,” said Maj. Mark Castillon, an Executive Officer with the U.S. Army.

This is the infantry’s third overseas deployment since the 9-11 attacks.

They are expected to be overseas for about a year.

Soldiers in Lafayette and Alexandria will also hold deployment ceremonies later today.

Due to the current global pandemic, the ceremonies will be “military only”, while family and friends will be able to live-stream via the LANG Facebook page, www.facebook.com/geauxguard

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