Public ceremony held for soldiers' deployment - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

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Public ceremony held for soldiers' deployment

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CANFIELD, Ohio - There were alot of hugs and kisses and fond farewells as approximately 130 servicemembers in the 838th Military Police Company of the Ohio Army National Guard prepared to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom on Thursday. 

A deployment ceremony at the Old North Church Worship Center at 7105 Herbert Road in Canfield brought out about 500 family and friends to say goodbye.  The soldiers are headed to Afghanistan to provide support operations.

During an hour long program, the servicemembers and their friends and loved ones heard from Valley Congressman Tim Ryan (D) who told the group he's grateful to have people with their leadership and courage to serve in the military.  Some of those leaving for Afghanistan are on their fourth tour of duty.

Adjunct General Debra Ashenhurst of the Ohio National Guard said they will serve a year in the Afghanistan.  She encouraged family members and friends to do more than talk online with their loved ones.  She says keepsakes from home, like photographs are important to the troops and many of them wear them inside the uniforms while they are performing their duties.

The Soldiers will train at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center in Mississippi before deploying to their assignments in Afghanistan.

We'll have more on this story tonight at six on 21 News and look for updates here from Reporter Michelle Nicks who is covering the story.

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