COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – Governor Nathan Deal was in the area Sunday, along with several other political and military figures for a departure ceremony at Fort Benning for the 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade.
Hundred-and-fifty men and women of the 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade met cheers and proud shouts of love as they entered their departure ceremony Sunday.
Capt. Jacquline Wren says, "I'm just ready, that's probably the one word that sums it up. We've been going through this, getting ready for a long time."
For over a year the unit has trained for deployment to Kabul, Afghanistan.
Governor Deal and wife were in attendance. The governor stating he was honored to be there and inspired by the soldiers while many family members felt mixed emotions.
Shannon Wilson with Family Readiness Group says "Very Nervous, anxious, I'm excited but sad at the same time. It's very humbling too, and you're very aware more of what means the most to you."
The brigade are said to be unique because of the different jobs and skill sets they have within the unit. The soldiers have been preparing for deployment for more than a year.
Colonel Andy Hall says they are ready. "We feel pretty good about how well we've trained. We feel good about where we are in the cycle. We've also got a selected team the use- Everybody wants to be here, and that helps. Since we got a good group of volunteers and a wide range, were pretty adaptable. So we can go in several directions pretty quickly."
Family members say they hold on to their faith and join support groups like the Family Readiness Group to cope.
"It helps us cope. And for the kids to know that there are others just like them that they're not by themselves."
The unit left Columbus for Fort hood in Texas. They will go through additional pre-deployment training for two weeks. And after a short break head too Kabul for at least a year.