“It’s going to be tough” | Fifteen U.S. Army engineers say goodbye to family before Kuwait mission

The 415th unity leaves Saturday morning in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 6:30 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - More than a dozen men and women in uniform stood in front of family, their peers and elected officials as they received a special send-off at the Army Reserve Center Friday morning.

The 415th engineer unit in Knoxville specializes in construction and will be supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Kuwait.

Major Matthew Marshall, a 22-year army personnel, is the leader of the pack and said he and the others are prepared for their call of duty.

“The strongest value I’ve picked up is how we have to rely on people to our right and left and the military has always been exceptional in all of that,” Major Marshall said.

The men and women are forced to leave their families behind, which appeared to be a harder sacrifice for their loved ones.

Officer Nicki Valentin told WVLT News the mission means this will be the longest she’s been away from her four-year-old daughter.

“It’s going to be tough. She doesn’t quite understand the time frame, yet. She just knows mommy’s going to the military for a while,” Valentin said. “Every single day (I will) get on the phone and see her face.”

Mayor Glenn Jacobs and Congressman Tim Burchett were there to wish the unit a successful and safe trip.

The 415th unity leaves Saturday morning in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. It’s unclear what their duties will be, but they suspect it will include some-type of construction work.

The unit is expected to return spring 2021.

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