Family, friends and supporters have gathered today at a Missouri National Guard armory in Jefferson City to wish farewell to six soldiers heading to Kuwait. The unit will be overseas for an undisclosed time transporting soldiers and cargo.

Missouri soldiers deploy for Kuwait

During today’s sendoff ceremony, Chief Warrant Officer Matt Sandbothe of Jefferson City says being away around the holidays is difficult but a part of the job.

“It’s an emotional process for the whole deal,” he says. “We know about this at least a year prior. It’s an ongoing process that we just work with our families and prepare them as much as possible.”

Sandbothe has been deployed at least three times.

“It’s part of the family understanding that every military family goes through,” Sandbothe says. “We’re fortunate enough to have good people around us, good leadership around us. My family has been through it before. They understand what it takes.”

Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin says her grandfather, who came to the U.S. as an orphan from Greece, has called America the best country on earth.

“When he would go back to Greece and visit and come home to America, he would kiss the ground. I want to thank you all for giving him the freedom to kiss that ground,” she says.

Other dignitaries there include Adjutant General Steve Danner of the Missouri National Guard and State Senator-Elect Mike Bernskoetter, R-Jefferson City.

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