DES MOINES, Iowa – Late last year, President Obama reversed course. Instead of withdrawing more Americans from the Middle East, he started sending more.
And on Sunday, 60 soldiers with the 185th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion of the Iowa National Guard are heading to Fort Hood, Texas for additional training before being deployed to Afghanistan.
It's never easy to say goodbye to their families, maybe it's because the feeling of the unknown.
“We want to commend you for assuming great risk for all of the great citizens for this wonderful country,” Senator Joni Ernst said.
Chandra Chase is a veteran when it comes to send-offs.
“This is my second son to go overseas so you try and prepare yourself but you have no preparation for it,” Chase said.
Some people, like Carmen Cameron, are not.
“We`ll never forget the day that she deployed for the first time,” Cameron said.
The soldiers will be deployed for a year, providing other units with maintenance, supplies, and transportation.
“The deployments now are a lot less frequent than the used to be as the United States presence in Afghanistan has drawn down considerably,” said Colonel Greg Hapgood of the Iowa National Guard.
Currently, there are close to 10,000 troops in Afghanistan and President Obama is planning to keep them there until at least 2017. That means another missed Mother's Day for this Battalion.
“This is what she`s accomplished and as a mother I can’t help but have pride and having this happen on Mother`s Day kind of just adds to the proud moment,” Cameron said.
It’s yet another reason to be proud.
“It’s hard when they leave,” Cameron said. “Because you raise them and are protective of them their whole lives and now they are going off and they`re living what you taught them, the morals, the values, the ethics. They are you and they are going to fight for what you taught them.”