Ceremony held in Evansville ahead of Ind. National Guard deployment to Iraq

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Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 12:32 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - As we reported last week, members of the Indiana National Guard are deploying to Iraq, including 300 soldiers from Evansville’s 163rd Field Artillery Battalion.

A departure ceremony was held Tuesday at Christian Fellowship Church on Millersburg Road.

Once deployed, they will be helping with coalition security forces in the Middle East.

The soldiers 14 News spoke with said they’re feeling a wide range of emotions from nervousness to pride.

They said they’re sad to leave their families but feel prepared to head to the middle east.

At the event on Tuesday, they were honored with songs and prayer, and they got a grand farewell from their friends and loved ones.

They said they’ve trained for years for this kind of deployment; Sergeant Joseph Bichler said he’s well-versed in combat assistance.

“My job is to help artillery, cavalry, anybody who’s needing of assistance when it’s coming to artillery,” Sgt. Bichler said. “We do have our string pullers, but then you have me out on the hill, calling out coordinates giving them the information.”

Commanding officers said they’re hoping to work with them and their families to keep them in touch to make the deployment less socially painful.

You can watch the full ceremony below:

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