SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Serving your country is a great commitment and sacrifice and the moments before deployment are normally a time for family and friends, but that wasn't the case for Sioux City's Army National Guard members.
Iowa's Army National Guard, Headquarters, 1st “Red Horse” Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment are heading overseas for a year-long deployment.
Sunday's send-off was different than others in the past, void of family and friends because of COVID-19.
"My mom was pretty sad," said Moville native Brady Butters. "She wished she could say one last goodbye."
"I feel excited, also feeling proud to be serving alongside these soldiers," said Captain Thanh Truong. "We wish our family and friends could be with us here today, but we know their support is still out there for us."
Nearly 100 soldiers from Sioux City's base will spend a year in Kosovo as part of the NATO mission. These soldiers, along with more than 350 Army National Guardsmen from across the state, will continue to strengthen the Iowa State Partnership Program.
"I know there are people here I can count on, day in and day out, but also, I understand that we are here for a reason, here for a purpose, and I want to continue that call to duty," said Captain Truong.
For Butters, a supply specialist, this will be his first deployment and he's excited to join the family tradition.
"My dad was in for 32 years," said. "My brother is currently in as well and is also getting deployed."
For Captain Truong, a plans officer, this Kosovo mission is his third.
"It's a bittersweet day," he said after the ceremony. "I know once we leave, it's one day closer to being back home."
These brave men and women of the 113th Cavalry Regiment are heading to Ft. Bliss, Texas for additional training before heading to Kosovo.
While family and friends were not able to be at the ceremony, it was broadcast live on social media.
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