Hundreds bid a safe farewell to Army National Guard soldiers headed to Afghanistan

Friends and family bid farewell to 158 Michigan Army National Guard soldiers from the Taylor-based 1,776th Military Police Company as they prepared to depart for Fort Bliss, Texas, and then Afghanistan for a 12-month tour of duty.

The deployment ceremony was held Thursday, November 4, at the Taylor Sportsplex. Hundreds of family members, friends and volunteers from Taylor were on hand to show their support.

The soldiers will train for about 45 days at Fort Bliss before deploying. Upon arrival in Afghanistan, they will be responsible for the care and custody of detainees.

Today, more than 1,400 Michigan National Guard soldiers and airmen are deployed across the globe in support of the global war on terrorism. As the Michigan Guard serves the nation abroad, more than 90 percent of the force is available, trained and ready to respond to a state emergency, including a terrorist event.

Photos coming soon.