ARCADIA, Wis. (WXOW) – Wisconsin Army National Guard Soldiers prepare to leave their families and their jobs for deployment in Afghanistan supporting American military operations.
The latest troop to deploy is the 128th Infantry based in Eau Claire but Company C is headquartered in Arcadia, WI where they packed up their equipment. For some of these soldiers, it’s their first mission while others are returning with more experience.
“I’m going to miss my family a lot,” Private Deion Tovar said. “I’ve got a family in Sparta and then a lot of friends in La Crosse as I go to school in Western there.”
It is Tovar’s first deployment and he said it comes with a mixed bag of emotions.
“A little bit of both actually, ” Tovar said. “I think it’s a great experience that I get to do it so young in my life rather than being a lot older and having family and kids to have back at home while you’re gone.”
Tovar will have guidance for his first Afghanistan deployment from Sgt. Jameson Nelms, who is returning for his third mission. “I remember that it can be scary your first time,” Nelms said. “But I had some really great sergeants that lead me and made me successful for how far I’ve come today.”
“They’re like your kids at this point but they’re infantry soldiers,” Nelms said. “That’s what keeps me coming back–training them to replace me when I’m done.”
Governor Tony Evers will speak at the formal send-off on Sunday, July 14 at noon at the UW Stout campus in Menomonie where 400 Wisconsin Army National Guard members are set to deploy.