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National Guard Engineers Prepare for Another Deployment
(From left) Col. Joe Hargett, Mississippi National Guard Joint Force Headquarters Chief of Staff, Lt. Col. Chis Thomas, 890th Engineer Battalion Commander, Pascagoula Mayor Dane Maxwell, Capt. Matthew Hope, 859th Engineer Company Commander and Col. Kelvin Nichols, 168th Engineer Brigade Commander pause for a photo following a sendoff ceremony for the 859th Engineer Company (Vertical) in Pascagoula, Miss. June 20, 2019. Mayor Maxwell proclaimed June 22 as Hometown Heroes Day, honoring the engineers who are about to embark on a nine month deployment to the Middle East in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.                        
JACKSON, Miss. – Members of the 859th Engineer Company (vertical), along with families and friends, conducted a sendoff ceremony at the Family Interactive Center in Pascagoula June 22, 2019. The Soldiers, headquartered in Pascagoula, celebrated the unit's past accomplishments while looking forward to their next mission, this time in the Middle East.
"The Soldiers over there need a place to lay their heads down, a place to eat, and a place to relax," said 1st Sgt. Brian Rubino, 859th Engineer Company First Sergeant. "That's what we'll build for them."
Mississippi National Guard's 41st Army Band played patriotic songs while Pascagoula High School's Navy JROTC color guard presented the nation's colors. Community members signed banners with well-wishes for the troops while spouses showed support for their Soldier's organization.
"This will be his first deployment since we've been married," said Bethany Riley of her husband Sgt. Matthew Riley. "I feel like the Mississippi National Guard has prepared us as much as we can be prepared for the separation."
The ceremony brought the community out to celebrate the engineers and to wish them well as they prepare to deploy in late June. It was also an opportunity for Dane Maxwell, Mayor of Pascagoula, to recognize the 859th by issuing a proclamation naming June 22 as Hometown Heroes Day.
"We realize the job they have to do, it's not easy work," said Maxwell. "They keep the bad guys away from us, so the least we can do is show our support. We look forward to seeing them come home soon."
The 859th Engineer Company (vertical) is deploying to the Middle East for nine months in support of Operation Inherent Resolve after a short trip to Fort Bliss, Texas for training.
High resolution photos are now available on the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS) website at the link below:
Revised: 6/25/2019 8:23