BENSON, NC (WTVD) -- Staff at the McDonald's on Crape Myrtle Drive in Benson held a patriotic sendoff for Specialist Amanda Styron, of the North Carolina Army National Guard, who is heading to Cuba for a deployment.
The 22-year-old has been working at the restaurant since she was 16, working nights and overnights.
"We couldn't be more proud of the reason that you're leaving our employment to go to protect our country," said Doris Huebner, the owner of the McDonald's where Specialist Styron works, during the Tuesday sendoff.
Styron's family and Congressman David Rouzer (R-7th District) also attended.
Specialist Styron will help with detaining operations in Cuba for nine months, according to the North Carolina National Guard. Her deployment starts next month with training.
"It's a new adventure in my life," she said. "That's how I look at it."
Specialist Styron received tuition assistance from McDonald's and earned an associates degree. Her military service includes responding to Hurricane Matthew and the Charlotte riots.
She said she'll take what she learned at McDonald's to her service overseas.
"It teaches you about the work ethic, what your actual employers expect, and how to conduct yourself during stressful times," she said. "Just basically the proper etiquettes of work, show up at least five minutes early, being dressed neat."
"I am very proud of her," her mother Cindy Wells said. "I am going to miss her so much. I am very proud of her."
Specialist Styron will also miss her family, her country and of course, the McDonald's food.
"I enjoy the wraps, even the snack wraps," she said.
Despite what she'll miss, Specialist Styron said she's happy to be serving her country. She hopes to eventually return to serve her community.
"I just enjoy helping people in general," she said "It's just my thing."