BALTIMORE (WJZ) — About 200 members of the Maryland National Guard deployed Saturday to Europe.

The 729th Composite Supply Company packed the Armory in Baltimore for a deployment ceremony with family and friends. The company will spend nine months in Poland.

That means families back at home will have their own duties, too.

“We are going to be given the pleasure of watching both of her children while she is away,” retired Staff Sgt. Gregory Friend said. “That’s the first and foremost of our duty.”

The last time the unit was deployed was in 2017 to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

This is Specialist Mambo Emmanuel’s first time being deployed.

“It’s a great feeling,” Emmanuel said. “It’s also giving me motivation and pride that I am serving and helping my community and my country as well.”

As the unit supports U.S. missions in Europe, their service to community and country is being recognized by political leaders.

“It is an honor to be here,” Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford said. “To be in their presence and to thank them personally for what they are doing and the sacrifice that they are making.”

The 729th Composite Supply Company is based in Ellicott City.

Ava-joye Burnett

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