More than 100 area National Guard soldiers leave for deployment - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

More than 100 area National Guard soldiers leave for deployment

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Friends and family were on hand Friday morning for the deployment of the 252nd Military Police Company. WRCBtv.com photo Friends and family were on hand Friday morning for the deployment of the 252nd Military Police Company. WRCBtv.com photo
CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) - More than 100 Tennessee National Guard soldiers from the 252nd Military Police Company said farewell to family and friends Friday morning. The soldiers, many from our area, left Friday from the Cleveland National Armory for a tour overseas.

"It's rough leaving your kids and your loved ones. It's real rough," said Sgt. Edward Cook. "They got computers and I got an iPad so we'll just Facetime while we're over there."

Cook has been overseas before. He'll tell you its easier than ever to stay in touch with his two 12-year-old twin girls. He and 123 other soldiers are heading to New Jersey for more training then Kuwait to support Operation Enduring Freedom.

This is the first deployment for 24-year-old Sgt. Steven Eaton. He spent the morning to next to his wife who was celebrating her birthday and his 9-month-old daughter Miley Claire.

"I'm gonna miss her first birthday, her first Christmas, a lot of firsts. I'm just trying to take advantage of as much time as I can with her and my wife," he said.

Parents, spouses, children, friends, even strangers showed up by the hundreds to send the men and women off to Kuwait.

"We're very prepared to go over there and do what we need to do and then come back home and see my family again," Eaton said.

The group will spend one month training in New Jersey before going to Kuwait for about a year. Since 9/11/2011, more than 28,000 Tennessee Army and Air National Guardsmen have been deployed.


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