Central Iowa Army Reserve Firefighters Deployed to Europe as Families Say Goodbye

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More than a dozen army reserve firefighters from around central Iowa are about to report to a new firehouse halfway around the world.

17 army reserve firefighters with the 467th Engineer Detachment Unit are being deployed to Europe.

Senator Joni Ernst offered the soldiers some words of encouragement on how to protect themselves while protecting their nation.

"Assume prudent risk, know the challenges, opportunities, good things and bad things," Senator Ernst said. "Weigh those out and make a decision based on prudent risk. Understand that as men in uniform you won't be able to avoid risk but you welcome that opportunity as long as it's prudent risk. As firefighters, you know that you are risk takers but you do it to serve others."

It's never easy to send a soldier overseas and away from his or her family. But it's especially difficult for the Engelman's to say goodbye. It will be Specialist Chaz Engelman's first deployment and it could cause him to miss the birth of his first child.

Chaz and his wife Ashten married just one month ago and are expecting a baby boy in March.

The couple says they had months to prepare for the day and thought they were ready until the time actually arrived.

“I have so many different emotions,” Ashten said. “I am sad but I’m so happy for him that he gets to experience this because I know it’s something he’s wanted to do for a long time."

"Now that it draws closer, the emotions are getting there and it’s hard to make the best of it but we’re going to,” Chaz said.