Upper Michigan families are still celebrating the return of 164 soldiers on Friday… And as we embark on a week long salute on the military we begin with goodbye…
ABC 10 News Now reporter Dan Gualdoni went along to bid farewell to a downstate Michigan Army National Guard unit that includes several U.P. soldiers.
Family and friends gathered for the emotional farewell as troops of the 1st Battalion, 125th Infantry Regiment prepares for war.
The 125th spent recently spent two weeks at Camp Grayling on mobilization training.
Then, family members and friends came together at armories across lower Michigan for a send–off ceremony as the troops head out for mission–specific training.
The soldiers have moved on to specialized squad and platoon battle drills at Fort Shelby, Mississippi.
After additional training in California, the group is bound for northern Afghanistan.
The 125th has close to a thousand soldiers preparing for this mission, and eight of them are Upper Michigan residents.
For many of the soldiers, this is their first war experience.
And while no one in the crowd knows what lies ahead, goodbye ceremonies like this one are a bittersweet reminder of what the troops are leaving behind.
Tomorrow night, as we continue our salute to the troops, find out more about the mission of the 125th in Afghanistan.