JBER brigade prepares to deploy to Afghanistan

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by Whitney LB Miller

ANCHORAGE - The military is known for their prestigious ceremonies; whether it be presenting awards or promoting outstanding individuals - none compare to the honor of deployment.

Thursday the second engineer brigade lined up for one last deployment ceremony. In the next few days these units will deploy to Afghanistan for nine months.

"Its my first deployment, I'm really excited ready to learn," said specialist Michelle Partin.  "All i wanted was the experience."

Specialist Partin handles supplies and says she's ready but not without apprehension.

"I'm very nervous but I'm ready to go...for all soldiers its a mental thing getting mentally prepared ready to be away from your family from regular life,"she said.

Brigade commander colonel Pete Andrysiak says this time around it is the beginning of the end. 250 soldiers will deploy and their mission is to start deconstructing operations in Afghanistan and training the Afghan Army.

Although to Andrysiak it's business as usual, he understands how tough deployment can be.

"Its always hard leaving family this is my fourth deployment I love my family and my kids its always tough to go," said Andrysiak. "obviously 24 years in the military it's something I believe in and want to be apart of.

During the ceremony the troops cased their colors as a sign they where ready to travel over seas a show of morale for the troops.

The group will be gone for roughly nine months - Each day working hard for our country but never forgetting those they left behind.

"I love them and I'm glad I'm making them proud," said Partin. 

The troops will say their final good byes over the next few days - this will be the final deployment for these second engineers before they fully deactivate in the fall.