ABERDEEN, Md. (WJZ) — Another round of Maryland troops is heading to war.

As Gigi Barnett explains, the state is in the middle of one of the largest deployments since WWII.

The deployment ceremony at Aberdeen Proving Ground is where goodbye begins.  In all, 77 soldiers from the 224 Assault Helicopter Battalion are heading overseas.  They’re part of a growing number of Maryland National Guardsmen heading to Iraq.

“Right now, we’re going through one of the largest deployments we’ve had since World War II,” said Col. Charles Kohler.

Two weeks ago, it was a similar scene for more than 170 soldiers.  All of them are sent to war with a charge to return home.

“Your most important mission is to make sure that you come home safely to these men, these women, your family and friends who are here today to wish you farewell,” Kohler said.

Hours after Saturday’s ceremony, the soldiers will be off to Iraq.  Just as the National Guard had to prepare them for war, they had to do the same for their families.

“They’re not ready for me to go,” said Sgt. Melvin Markley.

Markley already has a son in Iraq.  Now it’s his battalion’s turn to go.  Although the family has a plan to keep in touch through Skype, they say home won’t be the same.

“War is war and I mean that’s the way God has his plan, but we just have to be strong,” Markley said.

The 224 Assault Helicopter Battalion will spend the next year in Iraq transporting supplies and troops by air.

Comments (10)
  1. Provi Sharpe says:

    This is James’ National Guard Unit.

  2. pemicelli says:

    God watch over them and bring them all back HOME.

  3. Karen-Aberdeen says:

    May God be with them and their families and let us never stop thanking them all for their service and sacrifices

  4. Angel Marie says:

    ill miss my dad… HE is SGt. Markley.. i remember when they were intergviewing him.. I LOVE YOU DAD!!<3 ❤

  5. R. Mansfield says:

    Have a safe deployment ….and God bless you and your families!

  6. Mary Loretta Johnson says:

    Loretta Bracey- Johnson
    Have a safe deployment to Iraq,Thank you for your service to our country, hurry back, GOD Bless!! Your Aunt Loretta

  7. bernard mc kernan says:

    We can all thank those scoundrels Bush, Cheney & Rumsfeld for lying to the American people about nuclear arms that never existed & the blood on their conscience’s for the loss of our men & women.

    1. JCHARRIS says:

      hey mc kernan,
      blah blah blah. don’t see the guy currently in office doing anything about it. thanks for ruining a proud moment for these soldiers and their families!
      you are another mindless lemming.

  8. Jennifer Michael says:

    My husband WO1 Michael was with the unit. He is now in Ft Rucker even though he is there both of us will say prayers for their safe return. I know when Jason gets back he will be there to welcome you home…

  9. Lori A. Collins says:

    God Bless them and may each and every one of them come back home safely. A very warm Thank you to all of our soldiers!

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