CANFIELD, Ohio - A standing ovation from family, friends and employers filled the room as 130 members of the 838th Military Police Company out of Austintown marched in to a special "Call to Duty Ceremony" at the Old North Church Worship Center.
The group will head to the Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center in Mississippi on Sunday, before deploying to Afghanistan for one year.
"There's a lot of emotions. Obviously, I'm a little bit nervous, and a little bit excited ... a little bit of everything balled up in one," said Jermaine Collins of Hubbard.
"It hasn't been easy. It's very hard. I'm going to miss him dearly even though I know he's going to serve our country. I'm very proud of him and everyone who's going," said Maria Collins.
While some of these citizen soldiers are being deployed for the first time, others are going on their fourth tour of duty.
Even though the United States is winding down it's military involvement in Afghanistan, our Valley's bravest are still needed.
"This group is going to guard a lot of the special operations forces over there. There's still a lot going on athough we are winding down. Hopefully, we'll be out in the next year or so but there's still going to be some presence ... always going to be there," said Congressman Tim Ryan D-17.
Serving his country is a call to duty that comes with a major sacrifice for the commander of the Ohio National Guard Unit Jason Dancy. He'll be without his wife and three young children for a year.
Dancy said his son Nate, the middle child, always wants to go with his father and "fight the bad guys."
Men and women from the Valley answering the call with leadership, courage and patriotism that serves as an example to us all.