Sedalia holds National Guardsmen departure ceremony

5 months 1 week 1 day ago Saturday, June 09 2018 Jun 9, 2018 Saturday, June 09, 2018 3:20:00 PM CDT June 09, 2018 in News
By: Blake Sammann, KOMU 8 Reporter
SEDALIA - The community of Sedalia hosted a departure ceremony for a Sedalia-based National Guard unit recently deployed to the Middle East.
Members of the 35th Combat Aviation Brigade listened to speeches and spent time with their families and loved ones. 
Soldiers say they enjoyed the ceremony and were touched by how much the community appreciated their service. 
"It means a lot honestly," Private Mitchell Taylor said. "It really seems like what we do makes a big impact and people really appreciate it so it means a lot."
Lieutenant Colonel Derrick Jennings said he likes the signal it gives to the soldiers.
"It shows the people on the home front are supportive of us and we can go forward and focus on our mission and not have to worry about things back home," he said.
But while the soldiers leave to serve their country, their loved ones wait anxiously for them to return. 
"You never know what to expect but this is the type of work that he [Derrick] is in and that's what he does, Derrick's brother Brad said. "Yeah, they may make you worry at times but that's their job. It's what they chose to do. Protect our country."
Taylor although it's a lot of work, he's excited to do his part.
"It's a lot, it's really hectic sometimes but it's fun. It feels good it feels like I'm doing something for a great cause," he said.
According to a press release, the unit will link up with other National Guard at Fort Hood, Texas where they will form a 1,500-strong bridge with representation from 13 different states.
The brigade will help with Operations Spartan Shield and Inherent Resolve. Soldiers expect to be back in Missouri by mid-2019. 

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