Community bids farewell to Wisconsin National Guard soldiers - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Community bids farewell to Wisconsin National Guard soldiers

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PRAIRIE DU CHIEN (WKOW) -- Saturday marks the beginning of a long journey for about 150 Wisconsin National Guard soldiers based in Prairie Du Chien. The 229th Engineer Company is being deployed to Afghanistan. Family, friends and community members gathered at the Prairie Du Chien High School to support their sendoff.

It was an emotional farewell for many. Prairie Du Chien native Tanya Wolcott waited to see her husband, who's been deployed once before to Iraq. "I just hope it goes fast," Wolcott said. She'll be caring for their 3-year-old twin boys and 2-year-old daughter while he's gone.

"He's worried," Wolcott said about her husband. She said he doesn't want to leave his kids, but he also doesn't want to leave his military family.

Tracey Bente of Jefferson sported a 229th Engineer Company t-shirt at the event. Bente said her son will be joining his twin brother, who's already serving in Afghanistan. For the family members it's a difficult time, but the sendoff provides an opportunity to honor their service.

"This is his third deployment and he couldn't go without us seeing him," said Chuck Augustine. His son, Captain Jesse Augustine leads the 229th Engineer Company.

"No matter how many times you do this, you still love your family the same amount," Captain Jesse Augustine told 27 News. But he said there's no more motivation to serve than seeing family and friends there for support. Augustine said a mission for the company often means rebuilding roads or securing bases.

The 229th will spend about 45 days in Fort Bliss, Texas for mobilization training before deploying to Afghanistan.

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PRAIRIE DU CHIEN (WKOW) -- The Prairie Du Chien community, state leaders, family and friends will bid farewell to about 150 soldiers leaving for Afghanistan Saturday.

Following a ceremony, the soldiers will depart for Fort Bliss, Texas for a 45 day mobilization training before deploying to the Kandahar Province where they will perform engineer construction missions.

The sendoff ceremony takes place at the Prairie Du Chien High School at 1 p.m.

Reporter Danielle Lama will have reports on the soldier sendoff tonight on 27 News at 6 and 10.

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