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Minnesota National Guard
4 Guard Deployment Ceremonies Held In Minn.

Deployment ceremonies were held in Marshall, Montevideo, Madison and Olivia for more than 550 Minnesota National Guard Soldiers

April 4, 2009

MONTEVIDEO, Minn (WCCO) -- Western Minnesota Soldiers are ready to leave for training before they head to Iraq this summer Saturday, deployment ceremonies were held in Marshall, Montevideo, Madison and Olivia for more than 550 Minnesota National Guard Soldiers, where communities and families said "thank you"

Inside the Montevideo high school gym, you can hear how the feelings range simply by talking with McFarland family

Megan McFarland's dad, Sgt. 1st Class Troy McFarland, is part of the 1st Battalion 151st Field Artillery

They'll head to Fort Hood for three months of training before nine months of convoy security and protection in Kuwait and Iraq

Spc Gavin Conaway will be closer to 2 years old when his dad returns

"I left when my other son was four months, so she did a lot of pictures of me and stuff and he still remembered who I was when I got back," said Conaway

The unit never made it to the flooding near Fargo They were exempt because they were leaving so soon for a mission that's constantly evolving

The last time the battalion mobilized was 2004, so for a lot of the Soldiers this will be their first deployment For 3/4 of them, this will be the longest time they've ever been away from their families

"'How are they going to be when they get back?' is my biggest fear Worried about little things like, 'Will they wake up in the middle of the night with nightmares? Will they be the same when they get home? Will they love us as much when they get home?'" said wife Michelle McFarland

It was a hard day, a struggle between sadness, anticipation and pride for the Minnesota men and women preparing for a year spent a half a world away

Heather Brown "ยข WCCO-TV

See video at wccocom
April 2, 2009: "Battalion Prepares to Deploy," Minnesota National Guard

1st Battalion, 151st Field Artillery

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Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.

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