Bittersweet Farewell to 829th Engineer Company Deploying to Middle East

Spooner held a parade for the buses of service members and the route was lined with handmade signs, flags, and well wishes from those lining the streets.

SPOONER, Wis. – around 150 soldiers of the 829th Engineer Company said their goodbyes to family and friends before leaving for Texas ahead of their deployment to the Middle East.

Spooner held a parade for the buses of service members and the route was lined with handmade signs, flags, and well wishes from those lining the streets.

The day left two parents wondering where the time has gone as their daughter deploys.

“I transition from remembering little girl to now a young lady that’s serving her country,” said Joel Ortiz, whose 18-year-old daughter is deploying.

After the teary goodbyes, families expressed how proud they are of their service members.

“it’s crazy I never thought he would do anything this great he’s going to go over and protect us and keep us safe I don’t think anybody can be more proud,” said Lucy Locke whose brother volunteered for the deployment.

The deploying soldiers also expressed how much the parade meant to them.

“It was incredible actually to see how many people actually came out to support us. It was insane. I didn’t think I would see this many people take the time out of their day to wave us off,” said Specialist Benett Bucek, who hails from Black River Falls, WI.

One business owner in Spooner says that the town has always supported their troops with parades and celebrations and it speaks to how wonderful the town is.

“I think it’s amazing because these people in Spooner it’s the hometown feel and to support all of us it says we are a great community and can come together when things are tough,” said Kristy Leckel, the owner of Kristy’s Korner. She also provided refreshments for those bidding the troops goodbye.

As the soldiers were loading on to buses it was apparent that they had already formed bonds with each other.

“It’s definitely a lot better feeling knowing that he’s going with peopleĀ  who care about him and that they’re all going to look out for each other and have each other’s backs,” said Lucy Locke, who was there with her parents Brian and Meri Locke.

The soldiers are heading to Texas for about another month of training before shipping off to the Middle East.

“I’m excited ready to go ready to get over there. Feels great to have others rely on you to do the work overseas it’s a feeling you can’t really get with many other jobs,” said Bucek.

The bittersweet day had parents saying farewell to children and children bidding their parents farewell, but all were looking towards the future.

“I don’t think you really can, you don’t think it’s going to come and all of a sudden it’s here, I know she’ll be back in 400 days so I’ll be counting,” said Dawn Ortiz about her daughter.

Business owner Kristy Leckel also mentioned to always remember to thank service members and veterans at home, because it is them who sacrifice it all for the safety of those at home.

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