GREENSBORO, N.C. – The North Carolina National Guard’s Alpha 5th of the 113th field artillery held their deployment ceremony Saturday in Greensboro. It gave soldiers and families a chance to be together before they leave.
These soldiers went through physical training for a year to get ready for this exact moment. While those tests are difficult, they say it’s the mental challenge that takes the most work.
“It’s getting into the mindset of being away from family but also knowing that the job we’re about to undertake requires zero deficiencies. We have to be on top of our game at all times,” said Commander Earl Pope.
Some of these soldiers are leaving home for the first time.
“It’s almost like a separation anxiety that you know that even though you’ve been training with the same people for weeks and months… you’re leaving people that you’ve known your entire life,” said Clinton Morrison, launcher chief.
It also takes a toll on those loved ones staying behind.
“The first deployment was a lot of mixed emotions. Lots of tears. I learned what anger and mad and down and sad and depressed and happy was everything all rolled up in one,” said Bridget Gobble.
This is her husband’s third time deployed, so it’s important for her to prepare her kids as well.
“They understand this time,” said Gobble. “The first time our youngest was nine months when he deployed so he did not understand.”
This fellowship also gives those involved a chance to develop a support system with others going through the same thing.
“So, this is an excellent opportunity for the families to come together and see the support network that comes together in times of hardship, times of mobilization,” said Commander Pope.