280 North Carolina National Guardsmen deploy to Afghanistan

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Loved ones of soldiers deploying to Afghanistan attended a deployment ceremony at Hope Community Church in Raleigh Tuesday.

The 280 members of the North Carolina National Guard aviation units will be part of Operation Freedom's Sentinel.

Sgt. Thomas Mullaney said he's looking forward to serving his country overseas but will miss his family.

"When I come home from work at night, my wife usually has the door open waiting for me to walk in," Sgt. Mullaney, of the 1-130th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion said. "That's something I'll miss next year."

"I am very torn up about it," said his wife, Angela. "This is our second deployment and it doesn't get any easier."

Major General Gregory Lusk, Adjutant General, spoke during the ceremony.

"You're going to go to a place in the world that very few people have touched foot on and you're going to come back with some remarkable experiences," Major General Lusk told the troops.

The soldiers from the 1-130th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion and DET 1 B/638th Aviation Support Battalion will go to Fort Hood, Texas, this weekend. They'll be there for two to three months for more training and to starting getting used to the climate in the Middle East. They'll deploy to Afghanistan for about nine months.
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