Send-off for Kentucky National Guard soldiers in Carter County

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They have been preparing for their mission for months.

On Sunday, dozens of family and friends packed a high school gym to send off the soldiers of the 149th Vertical Construction Company.

Leaving home to go overseas is never an easy task for the soldiers of the Kentucky National Guard.

“It’s breaking my heart to leave but it's what we were made to do and it's what we signed up for,” said Specialist Steven Burris.

On Sunday, a departure ceremony was held for the soldiers of the 149th Vertical Construction Company as they prepare for a 9 month deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

“It’s exciting in a different way. I look forward to it because of the soldiers I have. I couldn't ask for a better group of soldiers,” said Captain Adam Evans.

“Everything is going to go well. We are trained well and we have the best group of soldiers in Kentucky and in the nation for that matter. We have really good leadership,” said Staff Sergeant Matthew Wall.

The soldiers have worked tirelessly in the past few months training for their main mission of constructing barracks, offices and other buildings overseas.

“Our mission will be construction and also helping the Afghan National Army and help them build a nation,” said Evans.

They say leaving friends and family they love to go do a job they love is a bittersweet tradeoff.

“There are several things that are tough when leaving home for several months but we have a family within the unit, we draw from each other and depend on each other,” Evans said.

On February 11th, the soldiers will leave their loved ones to head overseas with their other family.

The unit is expected to return home sometime in late December of this year.

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