Jacksboro, Campbell County (WVLT) - It was an emotional send-off this morning, as dozens of 1175th national guard members in Jacksboro, Campbell County, boarded a bus, headed for training before being deployed to Iraq.
Volunteer TV's Jim Freeman, was there to witness the farewell.
They arrived early, earlier than ordered, just what you'd expect from a group of soldiers.
Bright sunshine could not make up for what this day represents and that's leaving, saying goodbye, goodbye for more than a year.
All the while, major lifetime events will be missed.
"She's getting married June 23rd and she works at Tennessee School for the Deaf, like I do, but she works with the elementary children and she goes to UT part-time," says SGT Christina Jones.
"He goes to Caryville Elementary in kindergarten there. He graduates kindergarten on the 21st of May," says SGT Kenneth Lay.
While Sergeant Mom's on her third tour of duty in the Middle East, daughter Katie is following in her boot steps.
"On May 31st, she's going to take the ASVAB and do her physical and she'll be going into the National Guard and doing the same thing I'm doing," says Jones.
It's a day when words just aren't enough.
"Almost 23 years, the longest we've ever been," says Specialist Jeff Sheehy.
Volunteer TV's continuous coverage of the 1175th's departure continues.
Coming up first at four, we'll see and hear more from the soldiers and their families and friends.
1175th Leaves on Deployment
Jacksboro, Campbell County (WVLT) - A group of East Tennessee soldiers have left on deployment.
The 44 men and women of the 1175th National Guard Unit based out of Jacksboro in Campbell County left at about 8:30 a.m. from their armory.
Dozens of family and friends were there to see them off.
They group is now on the way to Fort Bragg, North Carolina to meet up with an advance team that left on Saturday.
Their ultimate destination has not yet been announced but it will likely be Iraq.
This is the group's second deployment overseas, they were in Iraq in 2004 and 2005.