Valley Guardsmen Deploy

April 3, 2009 8:50:06 PM PDT
Valley soldiers are saying good bye to their families and friends as they get ready to deploy to the Middle East.A farewell ceremony was held Friday to honor 140 National Guard troops from the Valley. Next week, they'll leave their loved ones in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.

Eddie Grajeda said, "I mean, right now, I'm not too sure I have mixed emotions about it, but I'm kinda excited too, nervous at the same time, but I'll be alright." This is Eddie Grajeda's first mission. He'll spend one year in Kuwait. And though his family says they're proud, they can't help but be scared, too.

Robert Perez has his own concerns. Next week, he'll be in Afghanistan. It's not his first deployment. But this time, things are different. "I had him when I got back from our last deployment so this is going to be the first deployment that I'm going to be away from him. And it's going to be hard, not being there to watch him grow him, talk, go to school and everything," said Perez.

The Department of Defense announced a deployment of 4,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. Soldiers and their loved ones say leaving home never gets easier, but there are was to make it better.

Jamie Tardif said, "We've kinda worked out a little family plan and we've got ourselves set up with friends and family who will be checking up on her and of course, she's got Grey's Anatomy to take care of her while I'm gone so she's got that going for her, but we'll do okay."

The troops will be gone for about a year. The group leaving from here is made up of trained mechanics and pilots.

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