49 Iowa National Guard Soldiers are set to leave Thursday - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

49 Iowa National Guard Soldiers are set to leave Thursday for Afghanistan

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Thursday afternoon the Waterloo community will help send-off 49 Iowa National Guard Soldiers for a year-long deployment in Afghanistan.

The soldiers are members of a MedEvac battalion, charged with providing air care to service members fighting in the field.

The unit is comprised of paramedics, helicopter pilots, and specially trained support workers.

They'll leave for about 40 days of training at Fort Hood, then travel on to Afghanistan.

It's the second deployment for the unit in just five years.

As one soldier explains, leaving doesn't get any easier the second time around.

"I would tell you it never gets easy." Iowa National Guard CWO3 Chris Frederick said. "Some people in the unit are deploying for the fifth time, some people for the first time."

The ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Aviation Support Facility, located on the east side of the Waterloo Regional Airport.

You can watch the send-off ceremony live on KWWL and KWWL.com.

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