A band of brothers and sisters leave for Iraq - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

A band of brothers and sisters leave for Iraq

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by John Wilmer

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Soldiers from the 445th Transportation Company have been called to active duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.   On Saturday family and friends said their goodbyes to their loved ones at a send-off ceremony at the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center in Waterloo.   

There are 168 soldiers from all over Iowa and several other states that make up the 445th Transportation Company and out of that 168 soldiers there are two sets of siblings and four married couples.

Jessica and Nick Ashenfelter met when their units combined a couple of years ago now they will be serving together in Iraq.   

"I don't think I would trade it for anything. I don't have to leave my wife at home," said Nick Ashenfelter.

Justin Deman enlisted in the Army Reserve because of his big bother, Tyler, who has already been through one tour in Iraq.

"he really didn't know that I had enlisted until I actually enlisted so it was kind of a surprise to all of my family that I actually went and did it, but he played a good role in it when he went over the first time and know what he did, I would do the same thing," said Justin.

"It is comforting, but at the same time you know that he might be out on the road where the enemy is and I'll be back at base so I'll be thinking, hopefully he comes back after this mission," Tyler Deman said.

With a lot of hard work ahead of them these soldiers will face many of challenges, not just with their family, but their extended family, a band of brothers and sisters.

"It's going to have its ups and downs, but I think both of us. We're both ready to go and do our part and come home," said Nick Ashenfelter.

The 445th Transportation Company's primary mission will be to transport supplies and provide security for convoys in Iraq. Soldiers also say they will be training Iraqi soldiers in how to perform similar duties.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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