NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- It's a reality for thousands of military personnel across the country, packing your bags, leaving your home to fight for your country in a foreign land. That is what one unit with the Arkansas National Guard is preparing to do in three days.
The 2nd Battalion 238th Air Ambulance will deploy to Kosovo on Sunday. It is a peace keeping mission that will keep 21 guardsmen overseas for the next year.
"We spent many months preparing you for this deployment. We've spent many months making sure your soliders were trained, equipped and ready to go and they are trained, equipped and ready to go," said Colonel John Payne, Commander of the 77th Aviation Brigade, as he addressed his troops Sunday at Camp Robinson.
21 National Guardsmen are just days from being a ocean away and for Staff Sgt. Jerry Clagett, this time will be the hardest, leaving his five year old daughter, Ava, behind.
"This is my second deployment, my first time to Kosovo. When I deployed the first time, she was real young. She was only one so she really didn't miss me. But this time, she's really going to miss me. She's been asking me about why we go over there and what we were doing and said she was going to send some of her toys for the kids over there," said Staff Sgt. Clagett.
His wife Doris says for months they've prepared Ava for this Sunday.
"She's kind of a daddy's girl so it makes a difference. I know another family and he got deployed last weekend so we've been praying for him at night. And then she's like, 'I don't want daddy to leave and we just talk about why we have to let him go and that he'll be back," says Clagett.
"She starts kindergarten this year so I'll miss that. She dances and plays softball and hopefully I'll be back in time to see the end of those next year. And hopefully I'll make it back for kindergarten graduation," says Staff Sgt. Clagett.
"As the 21 of you go forward, you leave behind families that are supported by a community. Soldiers of F Company 2nd 238, thank you for your sacrifice and thank you to the families," said Col. John Payne.
The 2nd 238th will deploy Sunday, July 8th at 9 a.m. for Kosovo. We'll have more from their deployment Sunday night on the "THV 10:00 Difference" and todaysthv.com