Oklahoma Soldiers Say Goodbye To Family, Friends In McAlester
McALESTER, Oklahoma - Over 100 Oklahoma soldiers are heading off the war. Oklahoma National Guard soldiers from the 1245th Transportation Company leave for Afghanistan in just over a month.
They've been in training for the past nine months for deployment.
Saturday there was a special farewell ceremony, that brings out all kinds of emotions.
"I am moved to tears when we stand in the presence of these heroes who are around us and would lay down their lives for us," said Jennifer McNulty.
Jennifer McNulty is an army wife. Her husband is part of the 1245th Transportation Company based out of McAlester.
"I am so proud of my husband. He's not a native of America. He's from China. He's been here less than ten years, but he is willing to go and fight for our freedom," said Jennifer McNulty.
The 1245th has been training at Camp Gruber. This is the first time they've seen their families in three weeks.
Sadly, the reunion will be short lived since the company is heading off to Fort Hood, Texas next week, then to Afghanistan in late December.
"I'm really excited. I'm so excited to be part of this deployment," said Sgt. Li Xin Li, 1245th Transportation Company.
Although Li Xin Li is not from the US, he says it's a great honor to serve this country.
"I'm here in America for a second chance of my life and I got it and right now, I'm just trying to do my best to serve the country and fight for the freedom," said Sgt. Li Xin Li, 1245th Transportation Company.
The 1245th's mission in Afghanistan is to transport supplies and provide security for themselves and civilian contractors.
Throughout the deployment, the company plans to lean on each other to get through the tough times.
"It's kind of sad because you have to leave your family, but I'm leaving behind one, but I'm gaining another one, which is my platoon and we're just a big family and we're going to take care of each other," said Sgt. First Class Erwin Blue, 1245th Transportation Company.
For family members who are worried about their loved ones safety, the commander has this message.
"We are the best trained, well prepared that I've ever seen a unit, so I think the families have nothing to worry about. We're going to do our mission and come home safe," said Captain James Coffman, 1245th Transportation Company Commander.
There are 115 soldiers leaving. They'll be gone about a year.