LUCEDALE, MS (WLOX) - The City of Lucedale showed up by the hundreds to show support for the more than 80 members of the 150th Brigade Engineer Battalion.
At a downtown park, the unit received a heroes send-off today as they get ready to deploy on a 14-month tour to Kuwait.
The call to duty means the 150th will be on the job for more than a year.
"I'm a little nervous and anxious, but ready to get it going and get back home to these kids," said Sgt. Robert Walker, an Ocean Springs native on his first deployment.
His mother, Kathy, stood by him as she got ready to say goodbye. "I'm counting down the days until he gets home starting right now," she said.
The same can be said for Sgt. Allen Poole, as the Lucedale resident leaves behind his family, including his 8-month old twin daughters Kensley and Cambry.
"For this first deployment, it's going to be a little different," Poole said. "When you leave your family behind, especially newborns, you miss their first birthday, them walking, their first words and stuff like that."
The good news for the 150th and their families: people like Bud Ladd are there to help on the home front through the National Guard's Family Services program.
"When that solider is deployed, that leaves a gap at home that we need to try and help fill," Ladd said.
The 150th's motto is 'Honor is our strength.' After today's sendoff from family and friends in Lucedale, you can also add 'support' to that mix.