Dozens of Louisiana National Guardsmen deployed for year-long tour in Iraq
PLAQUEMINE - Dozens of men and women told their families goodbye on Wednesday as they left to defend our country. Although it's only temporary, it's not easy for the soldiers or their loved ones.
There were prayers, hugs, and plenty of tears for Joshua McCoy. With a big Plaquemine family, he feels like he's leaving a lot behind.
"I'm leaving my family," McCoy said. "I can't say much more than that."
But he's not alone. McCoy is being deployed to Iraq along with other brave men and women as part of the 832nd Engineer Detachment.
"Leaving a family for a 9-month deployment, being away from home, anything can happen while we're gone," said Sgt. Dylan Martin.
Sergeant Fionn Paul said spending precious moments with his one and two-year-old children over the last few months has been his top priority.
"For the past three months, every weekend was committed to them," Sgt. Paul said. Me and my fiancé, we gave all the little ones time because you don't want your kids to forget you by them being young."
For most of those in uniform, the hardest part is helping the little ones understand that today's goodbye is only temporary.
"I just have to talk to them and remind them that I'm going to be home soon and that I'm going to see them," said Specialist Adrian McQuiston. "We're going to be able to call each other and talk to each other."
In true Louisiana fashion, there's one thing that nearly everybody agrees will be missed: the food.
"Man, I'm a big boudin ball fan," said Specialist Christian Jaubert. "Boudin balls, crawfish, all that stuff but it's going to be just as good when I get back."