Waterloo-based solider's prepare for year-long deployment - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo-based solider's prepare for year-long deployment


About 50 Iowa soldiers are preparing to deploy next week for a year-long mission in Afghanistan. The solider's are members of the Detachment 1, Company C, 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion, based in Waterloo.

KWWL caught up with Sgt. Brad Friend Thursday afternoon while he was working on his wife's car. That's just one of many things he wants to take care of before he leaves for a year. His "honey-do" list includes finding other people who can fill his shoes while he's gone.

"Making sure my wife doesn't have to take care of things like, changing the oil in the car, maybe just once, or the taxes.  I have someone lined up to take care of the taxes," said Friend.

It's Friend's second time deploying to the Middle East. The first time wasn't easy, but this time, he's leaving a lot more behind.

"The hardest part now is just, every time I look at my children, every day is counting down to when I won't be seeing them for awhile," he said.

Friend will count on his wife to take a lot of pictures and document the milestones he'll miss. He is making sure they have a piece of him, by recording his voice on their favorite books, and keeping a camcorder in his military pack.

"I plan to be able to send DVDs home to them every week where I'll be able to read books to my children on the DVD, maybe showing them a little bit around the camp as much as I can, what I'm doing. What Daddy's doing while he's gone," said Friend.

Friend is looking forward to serving his country, and he's grateful to have friends and family who can step in to fix a tire, or be a shoulder to lean on, while he's gone.

The Iowa National Guard is encouraging the community to help send the guard members off Thursday, July 19th at 2:00 PM. The ceremony will take place at the Army Aviation Support Facility #2 (2245 West Big Rock Road) near the Waterloo Airport.

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