BELMONT, N.C. - The North Carolina Army National Guard's 505th Engineer Battalion will soon be deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Spartan Shield.
They held a deployment ceremony Saturday for the 200 men and women from across the area.
Surrounding them at the ceremony, were the mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters they'll be leaving behind.
"This is what he really wanted to do from (when he was) little," Renee Douglas said of her son, who is being deployed for the first time.
"It feels good in a way,” Pfc. Tyshawn Hall said. “Makes me feel like a man, like I'm growing up on my own, but it's going be tough, too."
For Heather Isenhour, both her husband and son are headed overseas.
"It's great to have him be able to go with his dad, and know that at least they've got each other over there, but at the same time, I'm losing both of them, so it's a little difficult," Isenhour said.
"Missing everybody's going to be the hardest thing," Isenhour's son, Pfc. Devan Barlowe, said. "But I'm just here to do a job. I signed up. I know what I signed up for."
The soldiers will be doing engineering and construction work for about one year.
"I'm so proud," Isenhour said.
"He's our baby boy, but now he's a young man, going off to do big things," Douglas said.
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