National Guard troops deploy to Middle East


NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark.-“It is very hard on our families, we do an excellent job of training our soldiers and the hard part is preparing our family members,” Major Bradley Dieutto.

Arkansas soldiers said a tearful goodbye to their families. They will not see them for a year.

They are deploying to the Middle East for a special mission.

The National Guard troops were surrounded by spouses, children and other soliders at a special ceremony Sunday morning.

Soldiers have been preparing and training for this special mission through different communication exercises.

While it’s tough for them being away from home, their main goal is to get back home safe.

From hugs, kisses and countless pictures. It was an emotional dat at the Army Aviation Support Facility at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock.

“All sorts of craziness, emotions and such, but it’s another one in the bag I guess,” Staff Sgt. Daniel Cortez said.

A ceremony was held for 30 soldiers who will join members of the 244th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade at Ford Hood, Texas

“It always make you a little nervous, makes you a little uneasy but I know the good Lord takes care of him so we don’t have to worry that much, but it hurts a little bit at the same time,” Staff Sgt. Daniel Cortez said.

The troops will be deployed to the Middle East.

“The thing I’m most excited about is helping troops in other countries because I will be apart of the command team. It will be my first time and that’s what I’m most nervous about because I will be learning as I go,” Specialist Tabitha Dillman said.

They will be going for Operation Spartan Shield and Operation Inhernet Resolve.

“We will be doing a lot of specialized equipment and making sure that the soldiers that are over there have the communications they need to accomplish their missions,” Major Bradley Dieutto said.

Soldiers said it’s an honor to serve our country.

“It’s the only thing that has truly given me a sense of purpose,” Staff Sgt. Daniel Cortez said.

The soldiers thanked their families for the countless support during the seperation.

“It means a lot it really does to be able to have people to back me up along the way,” Specialist Tabitha Dillman said.

“We are excited to get on with our mission and get back to our families.” Major Bradley Dieutto said.

The unit is expected to be overseas for a year but it could be a shorter deployment depending on what they get accomplished.

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