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Published May 12, 2013, 09:16 PM

Nearly 200 troops leave for a yearlong deployment

Grand Forks, ND (WDAY TV) -- Nearly 200 North Dakota National Guard soldiers left from Bismarck and Grand Forks today for a yearlong deployment. The soldiers will contribute to Operation Noble Eagle in Washington D.C.

By: Kayla Strayer, WDAZ, WDAY

Grand Forks, ND (WDAY TV) -- Nearly 200 North Dakota National Guard soldiers left from Bismarck and Grand Forks today for a yearlong deployment. The soldiers will contribute to Operation Noble Eagle in Washington D.C.

This Mother's Day is bittersweet for Shayla Rekkedal.

Shayla: "It's a tough day. We've been through deployments before but first time with a kid so it was tough on dad to leave."

Shayla's husband Brent will be deployed to the capital for a year.

Shayla: "It's never easy when you're alone. And then when you're alone with kids it makes it that much harder. You need a lot of family support and support of friends."

Brent and nearly 100 other soldiers said their goodbyes to loved ones early this morning here at the armory in Grand Forks.

Andrew Nathan/ND National Guard: "It's not going to Afghanistan, Iraq so it feels a little bit different, but anytime you're leaving your family for a year it can be kind of tough."

Kathryn Duben/ND National Guard: It's new. It's definitely new, but it's exciting.

Exciting in part, because the unit has never done this mission before.

Andrew: "It's an honor and privilege to do this type of mission because the visibility is quite high. And we're the only guard unit in the United States that's doing this mission so it's pretty dynamic."

Members of the North Dakota Patriot Guard held up flags as soldiers hugged their families before boarding the plane.

Bruce Burgess/ND Patriot Guard: "Be there for them. Be there for their families. Do whatever we can for them. Show that we care."

Andrew: "Thanks to the Patriot Guard for being here. And the family turnout has been tremendous and we just want to get the job done, come back to their families and continue life as it is here back in North Dakota."

Since this is a homeland mission, officers say they welcome and encourage family visits throughout the year. They expect the unit to be assigned this mission again in about five years.

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