UPDATE: Pocahontas, Iowa soldiers say goodbye to loved ones - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Pocahontas, Iowa soldiers say goodbye to loved ones

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POCAHONTAS, Iowa (KTIV) - More than a decade after the U.S. first waged war in Afghanistan, Iowa is still sending troops overseas to protect the freedoms we hold so dear here in America.
   
A U.S. Army reserve unit based in Northwest Iowa received its marching orders.

It was a day of hugs and tears.

"I think every parent and every spouse gets worried," said Sherri Ridder.

The U.S. Army's 415th Military Police Detachment unit will be deployed to Afghanistan for the third time in five years. The unit is made up of midwestern soldiers, many of whom are from right here in Iowa. Many say this is their second or third deployment.

"We're a very close unit," said Sgt. Casey Schuetz. "I was right out of basic training the first time, so being able to go over there with some friendships is going to be a big help for me."

The unit's primary responsibility is law and order, meaning they'll police the Americans on base.

"I'm excited," said Sgt. Steven Oberg. "It's what I signed up to do. It was one of my goals when I signed my contract, so I'm really excited about it."

"I'm excited, anxious," said Schuetz. "I'm just ready to get going. It's a job. I just want to get there and get going."

Even if the soldiers themselves are ready face the challenges of being deployed overseas, that's not always the case for their family and friends.

"I guess I'm kind of scared," said Oberg's sister Caroline. "If something were to happen to him, that'd be the biggest thing."

Fortunately for the 415th, the safer nature of their mission gives the soldiers and their families peace of mind.

"I think every one of them who are going wants to go," said Sgt. 1st Class Choung Lovan. "They want to experience what it's like to be deployed."

Still, it's difficult to get use to life without your loved one.

"I think you learn to adjust," said Sherri Rider. "I don't think you get used to it, but you learn to adjust and pull yourself up by your boot straps and just move on."

Which is the best way to await for your loved one's return.

"I appreciate all you're doing," said Col. Eric Engelmeier. "I appreciate all your service. I look forward to seeing you all when you come back. Good luck, Godspeed and Hooah."

The 415th flies out of Des Moines Sunday.

The unit will spend 10 weeks on the East Coast before deploying to Afghanistan for nine months.

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