National News

Soon-to-be deployed troops say goodbye in St. Charles County

Posted July 7

— In St. Charles on Thursday, 54 men and women said goodbye to family and friends.

The Army members are being activated as part of "Operation Enduring Freedom." For many of them this is their first deployment.

This soldier send-off started with mingling and beating the heat, but once families, friends and soldiers moved inside the Francis Howell High School gym, they were reminded why they gathered here.

"It's going to be tough. I'm going to think about it a lot, but I know that God's going to look over him," said Vanita Triplett, who is sending off her boyfriend for his first deployment. "I understand the job that he has to do. I respect it, but I don't like this part, when he has to leave."

However, for the one's actually leaving, this ceremony represented the start of something they are honored to be a part of.

"Just having that feeling of doing something not many others get to do," said Ramos Diaz, a soldier being deployed for the first time.

Diaz's parents immigrated from Mexico and Peru, so that he could be born in the United States.

This is why he says he looks at this deployment as giving back to the country who gave him so much.

"For allowing my parents to come here, and for giving me the opportunity to get my education here, and to follow my dreams here," said Diaz.

Both soldiers and loved ones were not nearly as sad Thursday as they were proud.

"He's going to be in my heart, he's got a special place in my heart," said Triplett.

Right now, we are not being told where these soldiers will be deployed. It is being kept a secret. They will be gone for at least one year.

Copyright 2017 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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