Now that I work on Brigade staff, I get to see everything that goes on behind the scenes for all the teams we have deploying soon. Getting ready to send anyone overseas, whether it is a whole battalion or just a few smaller teams, is a lot of work. One of the last things we have to do to for the deploying troops is plan the deployment ceremony. This is the ceremony that you usually see on TV, with all the deploying troops standing in straight lines, with their families and friends waving flags and saying goodbye.
I got to attend a deployment ceremony this past Friday for a few of our teams getting ready to deploy in support of OEF. Their battalion commander gave them a few last words of guidance, and then everyone there got to walk through and shake their hands. While the soldiers themselves seemed excited and anxious and ready to go, I also saw all their families, waiting with them as long as possible before they had to go.
Christmas is never a good time to go, but we know there's always next year. And those of us who have to stay home know that our mission supporting them in every way possible will help not only them, but also their families.