As the music played, special moments were made in a deployment ceremony at the Hartford State Armory as more than 70 members of the 142nd Area Support Medical Company are preparing for a new journey abroad.
The Danbury-based unit will be heading to Poland to support Operation Atlantic Resolve.
“So in the bigger picture, Operation Atlantic Resolve, it’s about reassuring our European allies and partners,” said State Public Affairs Officer Dave Pytlik.
“Especially in Eastern Europe, in that part of the world, there is a lot of activity. There’s a lot of military buildup so this is about letting our partners and allies know we are with them,” Pytlik.
For over the next year, soldiers will be stationed in Poland providing medical care.
Sunday was a unique occasion as it was the first time in over 18 months the Army National Guard was able to gather in person for a deployment ceremony and family and friends got to say their goodbyes.
Platoon Sergeant Douglas Kohlun, who has been deployed several times before, acknowledges the importance of family support.
“It truly is a warm feeling to know that we’re supported, to know that we’re going to be supported through the mission until we get back home,” Kohlun said.
Unit Commander Amanda Griffiths will be deployed for the first time and touched on how it will change her family dynamic.
“My son Hudson is here. He’s 3. This will be my longest time away from him so that will be difficult, but we have a lot of support. I’m not alone in that,” said Griffiths.
Support is coming from officials with Governor Ned Lamont putting out a statement via Twitter saying in part:
And the excitement for the journey is evident as Corporal Jamonia Mercurius said a new chapter awaits.
“Just the experience to be in a whole other country, Poland. Wouldn’t you want to go to Poland? So it’s fantastic,” said Mercurius.
The soldiers are set to go to Texas for training and after that, they’ll prepare to leave for Poland around the mid to end of October.