NC National Guard holds deployment ceremony

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) — The North Carolina National Guard held a ceremony on Sunday to honor soldiers leaving for deployment.

It’s a chance for those who serve our country to say goodbye to their family and friends before heading overseas. Sunday afternoon, members of the 30th Armor Brigade Combat Military Engagement Team were honored on the campus of NC State.

Sgt. First Class Lamonte Benjamin is one of the 26 soldiers leaving.  This will be his third deployment.

“I’m good, I’m excited,” he said.  “I’m ready to get it on and keep it rolling.” Sgt. Benjamin will leave behind his wife and four day old son.

“I try to just sustain,” he said. “We get the family together and we talk about it. We sit down at the round table and talk it out. We just have to live with it.”

The MET will conduct military engagements with partner nations in the Levant Region, the Arabian Peninsula and western Asia. Officials said the ceremony is meant to wish them well on their mission and thank them for their sacrifice.

“It feels good to know that the community cares and they want to send us off,” said Captain David McDonald.  “It’s always good when you’re over there when you get a quiet moment or get free moment to think about how people back home care about you.”

Even with that support, soldiers said deployments are never easy.

“You just learn from experiences you kind of know what to expect,” said McDonald.  “This mission is a little bit different but it doesn’t get any easier. You are leaving your home town and what America has to offer.”

The MET will perform a variety of missions while they are overseas.  This is the third time they’ve been mobilized since 9/11.

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