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Enterprise National Guard Unit sets off for deployment

Published: Nov. 17, 2020 at 6:15 PM CST
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ENTERPRISE, Ala. (WTVY) --

It was an emotional day for the Alabama National Guard’s 1st Battalion 173rd Infantry Regiment as they said goodbye to their families before they deploy overseas.

It is a process many families know all too well, parting ways with their soldiers, but saying goodbye never gets easier.

“This isn’t a new experience for me,” said Battalion Commander of First Battalion of 173 Infantry Lt. Col. Richard Locke. “I got back in 2017 from my last one so it’s pretty fresh on my families mind, but I think the hardest thing for me probably is over with this morning that’s saying bye to the family.”

Other families are experiencing this for the first time.

“The family aspect has already hit me this morning as we dropped our daughters off at daycare other than that I’m trying to turn it on straight army mode,” said Sgt. Jacob Paramore. “My wife is strong she can handle this; we have a strong support structure at home and they’re going to be fine.”

“A lot of unknown, a lot of uncertainties some fear but I’m hopeful and most of all we’re proud we are very proud of our soldiers and our spouses and our families,” Amy Paramore added.

For soldiers like Paramore, serving in this unit is more than just representing his country.

“Both my grandfather and great grandfather were a part of this battalion’s history and their predecessors in this unit between Enterprise and Ozark,” Paramore explained. “It means the world for me to have that family connection to it. My great grandfather and grandfather’s picture hung up on the walls of this building for decades before I even got here.”

These soldiers have had to face many challenges, but this could be the toughest they have faced.

“It’s getting their families ready for them to be gone the best thing they can do for their soldiers is take care of themselves so they can focus on the mission as we deploy,” Locke said.

Many soldiers, including Sergeant Paramore who has served for 12 years with the same unit, take comfort in knowing they are not going through this alone.

“We are a family pretty much already,” Sergeant Paramore added. “We’re excited to go and do what we’ve been asked to do.”

That bond between soldiers eases the minds of many spouses and loved ones.

“We know a lot of these guys and their families and we have gotten really close over the few years and I know he’s going to be all right,” said Amy Paramore.

Locke, Paramore and the rest of the regiment are headed to the middle east for their deployment.

The unit does not have a specific time being overseas but is looking somewhat short of a year.

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