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Hoosier National Guard soldiers set for overseas deployment

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Indiana War Memorial

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WTHI) - In Indianapolis, several dozen soldiers had a bittersweet farewell departure ceremony. They are set to go overseas and serve.

This is because 70 Indiana National Guardsmen are being deployed to the Middle East. They are headquartered right in our town of Terre Haute.

Soldiers and their loved ones packed the Indiana War Memorial in Indianapolis. This was for the department ceremony for the guardsmen with the 519th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion.

This is Sgt. Gilmour's first deployment. He says he's excited.

"Having the experience to be overseas I've never been out of the country before so it's a new experience," he said. "I get to experience a new culture. Also, I get to grow in my military career army and it means a lot to me."

The soldiers will provide logistics and personnel administration when they go overseas. Specialist Palmer says it was difficult saying goodbye to her loved ones but she's grateful for the opportunity to serve.

"It's been hard for sure, but it's just something that we signed up to do," she said. "I think we should be lucky that we're able to go over and do this anyway. A lot of people in their military careers don't get the chance to go over and serve. So, I think we're lucky to go over and do that."

It's Specialist Rebeles' second deployment to the Middle East. She says she has been providing support to her peers that are nervous about the deployment.

"I tell everybody it goes by really fast," she said. "You know, you make good money and it goes by really fast and it's good weather."

It's tough on the soldiers to leave home but also for their family members.

Vivian Gonzalez is the spouse of Specialist Gonzalez. He's leaving behind his wife and daughter.

His wife says they try to stay positive and remember why he's serving in the first place.

"When he was 17 he felt called to enlist and he knew it was God telling him that's what he had to do," she said. "It's about serving the country but it's also about serving God for him."

They will be gone for a total of nine months.

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