TYLER, TX (KLTV) - They stood at attention, waiting, watching, knowing this would be the last time their boots touched East Texas soil for a long time.
In a deployment ceremony at Rose Stadium Friday, the soldiers of the 136th Military Police Battalion were given a deserving sendoff. With crowds filling the bleachers, East Texas leaders gave encouraging words to the soldiers before being deployed to Afghanistan.
Afterwards soldiers said their goodbyes to family and friends, something easier said than done says, Private First Class David Adams.
"It's stressful, I mean, there's times you want to cry there's times when you can't and then there's times when you gotta do it for your loved ones for the country for everybody you care for," he said.
For a final half hour before leaving the country for a 12 month tour, families hugged, couples embraced, and children already missed their mothers and fathers. Loading up on the buses, soldiers peered out at the supportive crowds armed with American flags.
A cheer went up as they pulled away, defending our freedom for younger generations to carry it on.