Kansas National Guard unit deploys to Kuwait

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Soldiers from the Kansas National Guard have been called to active duty, to serve overseas in Operation Spartan Shield.

With pomp and circumstance, the Kansas National Guard, Battery A, 2nd battalion, 130th Field Artillery was honored at Holton High School before they set off to serve in Kuwait.

“This is the first time in a long time that the field artillery out of Kansas, has had a in tow mission. We’re sending field artillery soldiers down range to do a field artillery mission,” said the 130th Commander, Captain Michael Sprigg.

And those who’ve been called to serve, say they’re ready.

“We’re actually going over to do our job, which is field artillery. We’ll, we can’t really, we can’t wait,” said Specialist, Matthew Pyles.

Approximately 120 men and women in uniform have been training for the mission for about 9 months, and their families have been preparing too.

“It’s going to be tough, but since it’s going to be me and my mom, we can work through it all,” said Alize Pyles. “We’re two pretty though women. We can get through this. It’s not going to be the same not having him here, but we can do it.”

SPC Pyles say while it’s tough to leave home, they know it’s for a worthy cause, “It’s hard leaving my family and friends and everything, but it’s something that we have to do. It’s our job. This is something I’ve always wanted to do.”

Over half of the unit has been deployed before. The other part of the unit has been in training to get ready for the mission, but all say, they are ready to serve their country.

“It’s never easy leaving your family, for a year and saying goodbye,” said CAPT Sprigg.

The unit has a family support program called the family readiness group, so those who have soldiers deployed can have someone locally to talk too.