MADISON — More than a dozen Milwaukee-based soldiers left Wisconsin Thursday morning for training before heading to the Middle East.
The ceremony marked a bittersweet day between soldiers and family. The 924th Engineering Facilities Detachment is comprised of 14 engineers who will head to Texas to finish training, then will head to Kuwait.
"Essentially, we get to run all of the facilities and infrastructure for that installation," said Major Billy Kesselring.
Kesselring will command the 924th EFD during the deployment, managing public works at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait.
They head to the Middle East just weeks after the U.S. killed an Iranian general. Iran responded by firing missiles toward two bases housing U.S. forces.
Kesselring said the base will be a safe, non-combat zone.
Many of the soldiers heading out will be on the first or second deployments.
Eric Chojnacki will be on his fifth. Something he chose to do for the country.
"Without my family, I wouldn't have a reason to fight in this country and without this country, I wouldn’t have my family," Chojnacki said.
Families are hoping for a safe return as the soldiers are expected to be back stateside by Thanksgiving.