Tallahassee, Florida- July 18, 2012
On Tuesday, July 19, 2012, members of the Tallahassee based 160th Military Police Battalion will be heading out of town. After several weeks in Texas they will be heading to Afghanistan. They celebrated their upcoming deployment with family and friends at a special ceremony held on Monday. Tallahassee Mayor John Marks was the keynote speaker.
"I'm proud of these men and women that are serving their country. And I just had to be here," said Marks.
Lieutenant Colonel Terry Robey will lead the battalion on what he says is a very important mission to Afghanistan. He said times like these can be trying on both the soldiers and their loved ones.
"We just have to uh, drive on like soldiers. That's what we do. And a lot of times, our family, whether they know it or not, they're driving on like soldiers too, and we're gonna do our part and their gonna do their part," said Robey.
Soldiers say it's a close group that will stand by each other through the good and the bad.
"We're like a big family pretty much. This deployment is pretty much bringing us closer together more than anything," said Phelisha Collier.
This is the fourth time members of the battalion have been deployed. For some, however, this is the first time they are heading overseas.
"I've been waiting about three and half years to deploy. This is what I signed up for and I'm very excited," said Rebekah Hernandez.
Family members say it's a day of mixed emotions.
"I think it's great. It's good. I just wish it wasn't so hard though," said Maria Luevano, a sister of a soldier.
Marion Rollins was at the ceremony to support her boyfriend. This is his first time being deployed.
"I'm nervous, and kinda scared. But I'm excited too cause it's a new experience for him," said Rollins.
Perhaps the littlest soldiers said it best.
"I'm gonna miss my daddy a lot," said Amari Gardner, a young boy who's dad is being deployed.