Family, friends of Tennessee soldiers gather for tearful send-off

Family, friends of Tennessee soldiers gather for tearful send-off

(WMC-TV) - Family and friends gave their emotional and tearful goodbyes to loved ones Tuesday as the Army National Guard armory deployed 150 soldiers to Afghanistan and the middle east.

The guardsmen being deployed are from the 130th military police company in Memphis. They are deploying to help Operation Enduring Freedom.

"We're military police company so we'll be doing mostly enforcement, law enforcement of some nature," said Sgt. Richard Easter.

Sergeant Richard Easter and his fellow soldiers said goodbye to friends and family who came to get one more hug, one more kiss, or just to hold hands before leaving.

"You're proud when they decide to serve their country and you just do what you can to support the families and support them as much as possible when they're gone," said Karen Terry, who is the mother of a deploying soldier.

"We're going down there to protect and serve to protect and serve, make sure everything is straight before we leave out," said Damon Davis, Tennessee National Guard.

"There's a good mix I have a lot of veterans in the unit most of the veterans are Iraq or Kosovo and a handful that have been to Afghanistan and then about 60 percent of the unit this is their first deployment," said Captain Aaron Perry.

It was a proud moment for the troops heading off to war with pride and prayers from the loved ones who will be waiting for them here at home.

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