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Deployment Ceremony Honors National Guard in St. Joe

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon was in St. Joseph on Saturday to speak at a deployment ceremony for Missouri National Guard's Kosovo Force. The Force is leaving for an 11-month mission to Kosovo next week.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Missouri Governor Jay Nixon was in St. Joseph on Saturday to speak at a deployment ceremony for Missouri National Guard's Kosovo Force. The Force is leaving for an 11-month mission to Kosovo next week.

The deployment comes a week before Christmas. Soldiers said however, it is part of the job.

"We prepare for it ahead of time for the different things I'm going to miss out on," Lt. Jesse Meek said.

Meek is preparing for his first deployment.

Governor Nixon presented flags to the oldest and youngest members of the Kosovo Force as part of the festivities.
He also spoke to the group about their sacrifice.

"As you leave here this morning," Nixon said. "Go in confidence that the people of your state is giving you, their whole-hearted support."

The soldiers will first train in Fort Hood, Texas before heading over to Kosovo.

"It's a stressful time for soldiers, but I think many of them are dealing with it well," Lt. Sgt. Bruce Becker said.

Family, friends and young members of the National Guard were in attendance to show support.

"It really illustrates how important we are to everyone," Meek said.

The deployment is part of an ongoing peace mission since the Kosovo war ended in 1999.


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