National Guard Troops Leave for Iraq
Gov. Nixon sent the troops off with words of encouragement.
"You know that the job you have is not easy, but you and your fellow soldiers are making significant strides in bringing peace and freedom to our world."
The six troops belong to the 4175th Military Police Detachment, which is a Criminal Investigation Division. They will carry out law enforcement procedures while on duty in Iraq.
"You can think of them as police officers... they're going to be doing police functions, principally in investigations of crimes," said Brigadier General Stephen Danner.
It's possible the troops will stay in Iraq for 11 months.
Governor Jay Nixon awarded SPC. Steven Burhans with the state flag as the youngest member of his detachment. He also got promoted to specialist by Brigadier. Gen. Stephen Danner. But, the day of honors were shadowed by the reality of him leaving his family.
"My kids are my world, and I was just recently married, so its just nerve-racking a little bit."
He says his biggest fear is how his wife will cope with their children without him around.
"It's hard on her, because, you know, she usually counts on my help and now I won't be there to help her," Burhans says.
SPC. Burhans has two children with this wife Lisa Burhans.
She says her biggest fear is the possibility of him getting hurt in Iraq.
"We do not talk about Iraq. We do not talk about Daddy getting hurt or not coming home," Lisa Burhans said.
The troops will complete a training program in Fort Worth, Texas before heading to Iraq.
The ceremony was held at Ike Skelton Training Site in Jefferson City.