SPOONER,WI– Saturday morning military family and friends gathered to say goodbye to their loved ones at an official deployment send-off.
Approximately 150 soldiers from Wisconsin’s Army National Guard are being deployed to the Middle East for one year for construction on a military base.
For some soldiers, it’s their first tour.
E4 Specialist Grant Wiley says today made that a reality.
Wiley says, “The ceremony was pretty surreal, It definitely has more weight than it did a few months ago.”
For Sergeant Jessica McInnis, her first deployment means leaving her one-year-old daughter at home.
McInnis says, “I’m a little nervous, but I’m good. My family is so great with her.”
Excited to serve and anxious to come home to family.
“I’m so excited to come home and see my little girl again. And have her back in my arms,” says McInnis.
While Family, friends, and soldiers all said their final goodbyes, Wisconsin’s commander in chief was there to say thank you and good luck.
Governor Tony Evers says, “On behalf of all Wisconsinites, I want to let you know that we are proud of you. You are the very best that our state has to offer.”
Evers says he’s grateful for their service and the sacrifices they and their families make.
Knowing they will make everyone at home proud.
He gave the soldiers a Wisconsin state flag as a way to remind them of home when overseas.
“Selfishness, hard work, and dedication. And you represent this state everywhere you go when you wear that red arrow on your shoulder,” says Evers.
Captain Joseph Tadisch Commander, 829th Engineer Company says having support from the state’s leader means everything.
“It was an honor to have him here. It meant a lot to our soldiers that our commander in chief was here supporting us,” says Tadisch.
Tadisch, who’s a father of three, has served in the military for 11 years.
This is his first deployment overseas, something he says he’s looking forward to it.
Tadisch says, “I can go over there and we can effect change.”
This unit is made up of students, electricians, engineers, police officers, and many others.
These soldiers will leave for Texas on Sunday for a month and a half of training before heading out to the Middle East.