MOUNT CLMENS (WWJ) – A send off Saturday for nearly 60 Michigan National Guard soldiers headed to Afghanistan for a year.

A departure ceremony was held at the Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Mt. Clemens for the for the 3-238th Battalion.

Specialist Anthony Fraccarolli from Lake Odessa spoke with WWJ’s Stephanie Davis about his first deployment:

“We are all going to miss our family and friends and where we come from – but we are fully focused on our mission,”said Fraccarolli.

His wife Deborah held back tears saying, “It’s hard, but I’m very proud of my husband, he is the first generation American and because of that he wants to do what he is doing, he said, ‘these freedoms don’t come free, and somebody needs to continue to fight for them, and I’m going to volunteer and do that.'”

“I don’t understand the war, but I’m here to support all the troops and my son, I’m very proud,” said Fraccarolli’s mom – Lydia Hart during the send off.

Cheryl Goodrich, from Mulligan, Michigan, says its difficult to see her son leave for a second time.

“I don’t wish it on any mother or any wife or any father but he chose to join  and I support him 100 percent along with the troops. I come from both parents being in the military during WWII … my dad was a marine until the day he died,” said Goodrich.

Saturday more than 1,200 Michigan National Guard soldiers and Air Men are deployed across the globe in support of the country’s global war on terrorism.


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