The group will say goodbye to family and friends and begin a process that will result in service in Afghanistan after a period of training in the United States.
The soldiers were the focus of the annual Independence Day celebration in Blanding, leading the parade and being showered with support.
Approximately 40 local residents are members of the group, which was last deployed to serve in Iraq in 2003.
The departing troops were on the minds of many throughout the celebration, from a speech at the Mayor’s breakfast by Brigadier General Jefferson S. Burton, to a poignant ceremony during the parade, to a rousing flyover by F-15 fighter jets.
A family dance in support of the soldiers was held on Friday, July 2 and a dinner for the soldiers and their families was scheduled for Tuesday, July 6, well after the press deadline.
While the deployment was the focus of the celebration, there were plenty of events to keep everyone busy and entertained. Large crowds filled the stands at a number of performances and sporting events.