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Minnesota National Guard
Twelve deploying Soldiers honored at departure ceremony

BLOOMINGTON, Minn - Twelve deploying Soldiers of Bravo Company, Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division were honored during a departure ceremony at the National Guard Armory in Bloomington, Minn, April 10, 2011

The 12 Soldiers will head to Camp Shelby, Miss, to mobilize in preparation to join Soldiers from the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team "Thunderbird", based out of Oklahoma City, Oka, who are currently preparing to be deployed to Afghanistan

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Preparing for a deployment for any Soldier is a challenging task The Soldiers of the unit have been preparing for the deployment for months prior to the mobilization in April Most Soldiers will deal with an array of feelings prior to leaving home, as well as having tremendous pride in their service

"The National Guard is great in the aspect that you get to be a whole person," said Spc Niklas P Frenz, a Soldier who deployed to Camp Liberty, Iraq previously "You get to experience life at home with your family as well as being a Soldier on deployments"

Eleven out of the 12 Soldiers have never deployed before, to include Spc Staci Cornie, 24 She and many of her peers have prepared different ways to keep in contact with family and friends back home

"In preparation of this deployment I will try to be in as much contact with my four-and-a-half-year old son as I can," said Spc Cornie, a native of Bemidji, Minn "I plan on leaving behind as many pictures of myself as I can, so he will remember what I look like"

After the ceremony, the non-profit organization Picture A Hero, provided deploying Service members portraits of themselves and their families Their services include setting up a photo booth on-site, taking photos of deploying Soldiers and offering free digital and print portraits to Soldiers and their family members The Soldiers of B Company were allotted time before and after the ceremony for photos with Picture A Hero

"It means a lot to me to take the photographs of deploying Soldiers," said Charlotte Shogren Smith, a photographer with Picture A Hero "We will often get e-mails from wives who have deployed husbands They tell us that the picture we took of their Soldier will sleep under their daughter's pillow every night, or get a kiss every day before they got to school," said Smith

The Soldiers will deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom While deployed, they will provide and manage communications and information systems support to the 45th Brigade Combat Team

By Spc Trisha Betz
1st Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
15 April, 2011




 





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