Friends and family members gathered at the Buckner Physical Fitness Center on-base Wednesday for a good-bye ceremony for the "Kodiaks" of 84th Engineer Support Company.
The Kodiaks will fly out next month on a "route clearance" mission, which Company Commander Capt. Michael Carvelli described as maintaining clear roads and pathways for coalition forces. He also said the mission would include training those same forces to, "make sure that they can take over when our company, and further on, the Army pulls out of Afghanistan."
Carvelli also said this time of year is ideal for a deployment to Afghanistan because the area where they are headed is currently under two feet of snow. This will make for a more gradual adjustment to what will eventually be a 100+ degree climate in the summer.
Among those family members gathered to say good-bye were wives and children of the paratroopers of the 84th Company. Janay Minzy, wife of Specialist Marcus Minzy, described how she felt at Wednesday's ceremony. "Scared... Nervous... Just praying for all of them."
Lt. Col. William Conde, who is sending the 84th overseas, spoke at the ceremony. He praised the 84th for their skills and successful training in preparation for this mission.
Conde offered words of consolation to the family members in attendance. "They will care for each other like brothers and sisters," he said, "fight with passion, and return home to you with honor."