Members of the Kentucky National Guard say their goodbyes before deployment
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Monday morning, 130 Kentucky National Guard soldiers said their emotional goodbyes to family and friends before they boarded a plane to eventually head to the Middle East for training.
For the next nine to ten months, Kentucky National Guardsman Richard Todd Gotcher won’t have his three children to pick up.
“There’s nothing like hugging your kids or brushing your daughter’s hair out of your face, so they are my world,” Gotcher said.
While he’s away, Gotcher’s wife Brandy will lean on their support system in Versailles.
“I’m gonna take it day by day and tonight we are just going to say our prayers and pray to God to watch over and protect him over all of the troops,” Brandy said.
Private First Class Glenda Smothers is from Nicholasville. This will be her first time leaving the country.
“I was actually told four days ago that I was actually going so it has kind of been a whirlwind for them on getting ready to have me leave,” Smothers said.
These guardsmen are leaving their families behind but taking another family with them, the Kentucky National Guard.
“Times like this is a hardship to be away from your family for such a long period of time however we are able to lean on each other during that time, and while necessarily we may not replace your family we are going to act like your family as much as possible,” said Commander Alexander Bush.
The unit will fly to another state for training before heading overseas.
The 138 field artillery brigade will be involved in multiple training exercises in Kuwait, Qatar, Syria, Iraq and Jordan.
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