Members of Maine's Army National Guard will soon be heading overseas to Eastern Europe as part of a mission to strengthen ties with allied countries.
Sixty nine members of Maine National Guard’s 286th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion will be deployed to Poland as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. They will be deployed for roughly nine months, returning in early 2020.
"You drill on the weekends and stuff. You do your work the best you can, but now you put it into real world situation, you do it every day nine month," said Army National Guard member Gerald Kirk.
Kirk has been deployed multiple times as part of the war on terror. This deployment may not be along the same lines, but for him, leaving friends and family behind is always difficult.
"Leaving loved ones and your family is never an easy one. Honestly that's the first thing you think of. Nine months and you family is doing all of the work while you're away," said Kirk.
Saturday's ceremony also welcomed Gov. Janet Mills and Sen. Susan Collins, who gave remarks to those preparing to be deployed.
"We all look forward to that day of celebration when you return home, a job well done," said Sen. Collins.