Local troops say goodbye in farewell ceremonies

by Brandon Richards bio| email

DERIDDER, LA (KPLC) - Deployment ceremonies for members of the Louisiana National Guard's 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team were held Tuesday in various parts of the state.

Some 3,000 guardsmen are deploying to Iraq.

Most of the members have been to Iraq before. The 256th served in Iraq in 2004 for 18 months.

This time around, the guardsmen are expected to be there for just under a year.

"I'm going to miss my children, my wife, my mother and father, my brothers," said Staff Sergeant Joseph Malbrough. "[Leaving them] is going to be the hardest thing."

Brigadier General Glenn Curtis says overseas deployments are usually harder on the families rather than the soldiers.

"Soldiers are use to these kind of things, but our families and employers pay the biggest price," said Curtis.

The soldiers will spend two months training at Camp Shelby in Mississippi before being shipped to Iraq.

The last deployment ceremonies will be held on January 11th.

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