Soldiers from the Homestead-based 930th Digital Liaison Detachment unit are deploying to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Sgt. Matthew Evans, Sgt. 1st Class Jason St. Onge, his wife Viviane, and another wife of a soldier, Angela Shuman, spoke about the deployment.
Soldiers from the Homestead-based 930th Digital Liaison Detachment unit are deploying to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The deployment comes at an especially emotional time for military families, just four days after Thanksgiving.
The 25 National Guardsmen received a formal sendoff at a ceremony before their families at the Homestead Armory Monday morning.
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"It's my job, so it's something that everybody that goes into the Army signs up to do," Sgt. Matthew Evans said.
The toughest job in Afghanistan for some soldiers may not be on the war front.
"I think the biggest challenge is being separated from our families, they're a big part of our lives," Sgt. 1st Class Jason St. Onge said.
When St. Onge returns from his 10-month deployment, his son Brandon will be 3.
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"He's very attached so everytime he sees his dad leave he cries," wife Viviane St. Onge said. "So it kind of hurts because now it's going to be for a long while where he's not going to see him."
Many of the military families said they created their own holiday traditions this year.
"My wife is absolutely brilliant. We have three children so we celebrated Thanksgiving a week ago, Christmas the following day, New Year's the following day," Evans said. "We try to catch all the holidays."
Still, it will be a bittersweet holiday season for some families.
"It's very emotional, our daughter back then was only four, so it really wasn't as, she kind of knew daddy was going somewhere but she didn't really understand," Angela Shuman, the wife of a deployed soldier, said about her husband's first tour. "Now that she's 14, it's a little bit different."
"I'm upset that he has to leave but it feels good that he does this stuff for the country," daughter Lexi Shuman said.
The soldiers will head to Camp Shelby in Mississippi for more training before they leave for Afghanistan.