RI National Guard MEDEVAC Unit departs for Kuwait - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

RI National Guard MEDEVAC Unit departs for Kuwait

RI National Guard MEDEVAC Unit departs for Kuwait

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By: Melissa Randall


A departure ceremony for the Soldiers of F Co, 1–126th MEDEVAC was held at the army Aviation Support Facility located at the Quonset Air National Guard Base in North Kingston Wednesday morning. The 30 soldiers from Rhode Island will mobilize to Fort Hood for training before departing to Kuwait. They will serve in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

"If there is a soldier injured or a civilian injured and they need medical care we will fly to the scene pick them up and are equipped with paramedics in the back. Essentially we are a flying ambulance," said F. Co. Unit Commander Christopher High.

While most soldiers give their suppose a hug and a kiss goodbye before deployment that is not the case for one Burrillville couple. The pair is deploying together.

"This is our second deployment together. We went to Afghanistan 2011 to 2012," said Sgt. Kyle Newman of Pascoag.

This time there will be one big difference for Kyle and her husband, Earl.

"Here we will be able to see each other every day because we will be at the same base this time," she said.

During the ceremony the troops were asked to raise their hands if they'd been deployed before. All but one hand shot into the air.

"It's the 3rd time for me to go away, so it doesn't get any easier. It's always hard to say good bye to the kids and my wife," said First Sgt. Chris Russell of Thompson, Connecticut.

"This is his job. It's what he loves to do we are there for him," said Jennifer Russell.

Monique Patnode's brother is leaving behind a 3–year–old and a bay. Like many family's hers counts on technology to help keep them connected.

"There is Skype, and Scott [the older boy] has his own Ipad and he ahs a button on it and he pushes the button and it brings my brother up," she said.

As for the Newman family, they know it will be hard without two loved ones over seas. Karen Newman offered these words to her son and daughter–in–law, "Just to take care of one another, to support one another and just come home safe."

The soldiers will have boots on the ground in for about 9 months. Their families are already planning for their return.

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