On Wednesday members of the 624th Engineer Company from the Utah National Guard left for a twelve month deployment in Afghanistan. It was an emotional day for service members saying goodbye to their families.
Daniel Murdock was just one of one-hundred and fifty soldiers to depart Utah on Wednesday for Afghanistan. But before he left, Murdock had something he wanted to ask for his girlfriend, Kerri Hampton. At the deployment ceremony, Murdock called Hampton to the stage as he knelt on one knee with a ring in his hand. Hampton did say yes.
“It means everything. Like, I’m so proud of him. I couldn’t be happier for him. I know he’s excited to go but I’m sad for him to go. It's going to be hard, but now I have a wedding to plan. So, that will keep me busy," said Hampton.
Guard members will spend the next twelve months building structures throughout US Central Command. Long deployments are often rough on families, but Guard member work closely with families to help ease some of that stress. Lieutenant Colonel Scott Burnhope is the Battalion Commander with the Utah National Guard.
“We’re trying to tell the families that we’ll take care of them. That their soldiers will be…we’ll tell you the best we can when they’re deployed. We’ll take care of the soldiers and also we’ll take care of the families who are left behind. The families need to know that they’re well-trained," said Burnhope.
This is the first deployment for the 624th Engineer Company since it was created in 2008.