It was a bittersweet experience in two northwest Ohio cities as family members bid farewell to their fathers, husbands and sons of the 1st Battalion, 148th Infantry of the US Army. The soldiers are being deployed for one year to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Delta Company of 1st Battalion, 148th Infantry held their send off ceremony in Sandusky. Jodie Silverlock held back the tears as she talked about sending her youngest son Carl off to war.
"He's not just my son he is my baby and though it is tearing me up inside I am proud of him and he will be covered by angels and prayers every second that he is there," Silverlock said.
"I'm very proud to be serving my country; this is something that I have wanted to do for a long time," Specialist Robert Tromp said. It's his first deployment.
Bravo Company of 1st Battalion, 148th Infantry was sent off at the Stroh Center on the campus of Bowling Green State University.
Leon Johnson, a Vietnam War Veteran, shook the hand of every soldier at the conclusion of the send off ceremony. "They talk about the soldiers of World War II being the greatest generation, but if you ask any World War II veteran who has a grandson in this group they will tell you that these young men are the greatest generation," Johnson said.
The details of the exact timing of their depature is kept secret for security reasons. The soldiers will perform combat training before going to Afghanistan. The soldiers will be on a security mission and will be working alongside the Afghan National Army.