GRAND LEDGE, MI (WLNS) – Many people feel American military involvement over-seas is coming to a close, but for 16 Michigan National Guard soldiers, their service is just beginning.
6 News Intern Cat Reid was at their emotional deployment ceremony in Grand Ledge Friday.
“When a unit goes down range from Michigan, we always send a flag with them so they never forget where home is.”
That Michigan flag is headed to Kuwait, along with 16 Michigan National Guardsmen.
Since September 11, 2001, Michigan has deployed 23,000 Army and Air National Guardsmen.
Their sacrifices have not gone unnoticed.
“Less than 1 percent of this nation is serving today in the military, and as I mentioned, how critically important it is for the preservation of the American way of life. It is on the shoulders of our soldiers and airmen,” said Major Gen. Greg Vadnais, Michigan National Guard.
For some of those brave men and women, it’s the first deployment and the first time they’ll be away from their families.
“It’s the hardest part of the deployment. They have Internet these days, so it beats snail mail.”
For others, like Sergeant David Argo, it’s the third.
His youngest daughter, 8-year-old Piper, will be keeping his hat while he’s in Kuwait.
“You know it’s a little piece of me that she can carry while I’m gone.”
This deployment is especially significant for him and his family.
“This time is going to be fantastic because he’s going to retire. He’s gonna come home, and he says be ‘mister mom,’ so we’ll see about that,” said Kristen Argo, Sgt. Argo’s wife.
“He’s going to become ‘mister mom,’ and he’s going to have to work on that a lot.”
In the meantime Sergeant Argo will serve his country in Kuwait.
On Friday the Home of the Brave was in the state of Michigan.
6 News wishes them all well and thanks them for their service. Those soldiers who deployed Friday will be rotated with 24 other Michigan National Guardsmen in the coming year.