Local & Regional
7:03 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Guard Prepares for Afghanistan

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Hundreds of family members and friends have said goodbye to an Oklahoma National Guard unit that's headed to Afghanistan for a year-long deployment.

About 200 soldiers with the 120th Engineer Battalion gathered at the Oral Roberts University Mabee Center on Saturday. They will head for Fort Bliss, Texas, this week for training before leaving for southern Afghanistan.

The Tulsa World reports the unit will work with the Afghan National Army to help with the transition into leading the security effort in the country.

Aponi Patterson wiped away tears as she sat with her 5-year-old daughter. Her husband, Specialist Trent Patterson, has spent the last several months training at Camp Gruber.

Aponi Patterson says it will be rough, but the family will make through.