PLAQUEMINE (LA) — 50 members of the Louisiana National Guard are on their way to Iraq for the next 9-12 months.
The 832nd Engineer Detachment, based in Plaquemine, will support ongoing operations in Iraq.
On Wednesday, a deporting ceremony was held. After spending a few final hours with their families, the troops are now on their way to Iraq.
Among them, the Jaubert family from Lafayette. Christian Jaubert in the only son.
"Mom's handling it the hardest; she is taking it the toughest, but my dad is like a stonewall so I'm sure he'll be alright," Jaubert said.
Jaubert joined the national guard four years ago. He says he is anxious, but ready to go.
"I just told my friend the other day, I said, finding out a year ago is the worst part. I'm so anxious; I wish they would've told me three days ago so I could've just got on the bus and left, so the last year has been hard but I'm ready to go."
Families ate, prayed, and laughed, but they all hope their soldiers stay safe. Tamika Elvis is sending her 21-year-old son off.
"God going to take care of him, he'll bring him back on home. Since he's my only child, we're always together...we have a tight bond, so it'll be hard for me to just let him go, and especially not have him around the house," Elvis said.
Many families say for the last year they have been preparing for the deployment, but their feelings today are much different.
"I'm strong now, but I'll be crying later when I'm alone," Elvis said.