160 Wis. troops nearing deployment to Afghanistan

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FORT MCCOY, Wis. (WEAU) -- More than 160 members of the Chippewa Falls based 829th Engineer Company said good bye to their family and friends at Fort McCoy.

This is the first deployment for Private 1st Class E3 Jordan Hammond of Cumberland.

He's said he's going to miss his wife Amanda and their three kids.

"Knowing that they're at home, and continuing with their lives it's extremely difficult," said Hammond.

"First 5 years we didn't have a day apart, and so a year apart is a very long time," said Jordan’s wife Amanda.

The 829th will be in Afghanistan to help pack up American military bases as U.S. troops pull out of Afghanistan after years of war.

This also the first deployment for Specialist E4 Cody Harlan of La Crosse.

"Mentally the harder part is saying good bye, and being the one that gets on the plane rather than the one back home, but going through it before one time with the family makes it a lot easier," said Harlan.

Cody's twin brother Tylor was previously deployed to Iraq.

He said it's going to be hard to be away from Cody.

"It's something that we wanted to do together. It's a shame that we can't but I'm happy he gets to experience it too," said Tylor.

The troops are expected to return in the spring of 2015.

This is the company's third deployment since 9/11.

They were also in Iraq in 2003 and 2009.


FORT MCCOY, Wis. (AP) -- About 160 members of the Wisconsin National Guard are getting ready to leave for a deployment in Afghanistan.

The members of the 829th Engineer Company will be sent off with a ceremony Friday morning at Fort McCoy.

The unit is usually involved in construction, but its mission this time will be to help break down American military bases. It's all part of U.S. efforts to reduce troop presence in Afghanistan.

This will be the company's third deployment. The previous two sent them to Iraq in 2003 and 2009. However, this will be the first deployment for about half the troops in the company.

The unit will head to Texas for some specific training before heading to Afghanistan. The troops are expected to return in the spring of 2015.

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