About 350 family and friends gathered at the National Guard Armory in Columbia Friday morning for a formal departure ceremony for 120 soldiers heading for Afghanistan.
The S.C. Army National Guards 742nd Support Maintenance Company will leave Sunday for a one-year deployment in southern Afghanistan.
It will be a scary time for 20-year old Samantha Simmonds of Springfield when her 23-year-old husband Sgt. Daniel Simmonds leaves. Shell have to depend on other family members to help care for their 1-year-old son, Ryan, and 2-year-old daughter, Kairi.
You dont know if hes coming back, she said. But I have my kids and I cant let the stress show.
It is the second deployment of S.C. Army National Guard troops to Afghanistan in a week, and the third in a year.