A Deployment Ceremony On Veterans Day

153rd Engineer Battalion Heads To Kuwait After The Holidays

In Huron Friday, more than 150 service men and women with the 153rd Engineer Battalion and their families came together for a deployment ceremony.

LTC Trent Bruce said it was significant to hold the event on Veterans Day.

“Veterans Day is an important day for anyone that wears the uniform and for those that are going to be deploying, it does add something to that for their families,” said LTC Bruce.

For CPT Joshua Lien, this will be his third deployment.

The father of six boys said he believes his experience helps leaving home.

“I think it helps my family, they’ve done this before. They know how, kind of, all of this works,” said CPT Lien.

His wife, Crystal, however, said it never gets easier.

“My boys and I are trying not think about it. We try not to talk about it, we try not to think about it just so we can get through it without doing the ugly cry,” said Lien, with a laugh.

For families who don’t know the feeling of a loved one’s deployment, Lien said it’s a lot of mixed emotions.

“You’re immensely proud, you’re scared, you’re lonely, you miss them, you’re overwhelmed. But you’re super proud so it’s really hard to balance I’m so proud of them, I want to fall into a puddle of tears,” said Lien.

PFC Nicholas Shields, 19, is going on his first deployment.

He said he’s going into his first mission with a few goals in mind.

“Getting along with my new teammates and staying cool,” said PFC Shields.

He said his family supports him “100 percent” and even offered some advice.

“They just say keep the sand out of your pants,” said PFC Shields.

For Senator John Thune, he said they appreciated all service men and women, no matter how many deployments they’ve been on.

“Doing this on veterans day where we have the opportunity to connect the past with the present and this generation of soldiers who are going to answer the call to duty, I think, is especially fitting,” said Sen. Thune.

Representative Kristi Noem said the sacrifices these service men and women and their families go through is invaluable.

“These families are leaving us and leaving their homes to go overseas and keep us safe so that we can all go to bed at night and know that we are going to be protected and safe,” said Rep. Noem.

On what is a tough day for families, CPT Lien said the message of the day is felt by these troops.

“I think having a ceremony on Veterans Day means a lot to us,” said CPT Lien.

The 153rd Engineer Battalion leaves for an eleven month deployment to Kuwait after the holidays.

Some of their mission will include building roads and remodeling barracks on U.S. bases.

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