N.J. Army National Guard soldiers report for duty
The last of New Jersey's Army National Guard soldiers that are heading to Iraq left Wednesday morning from McGuire Air Force Base.
The deployment involves more than 3,100 soldiers from across the Garden State. It is the largest deployment in New Jersey since World War II.
?Leaving the family was the hardest part, but as far as the mission is concerned, [I?m] ready to go, 100 percent,? says Pfc. Sergio Hudelo, of North Plainfield.
The soldiers will first go to Fort Bliss, Texas for mobilization training and then spend about two weeks in Kuwait. It is expected the soldiers will be in Iraq for about nine months.
For some, this isn?t the first time they?ve been deployed.
?This is my third time,? says Nicholas Forrestal, of Cranford, who also served in Kuwait and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
All 21 counties in the Garden State will be represented by the soldiers and nearly 250 of the soldiers are women.
More than 2,800 soldiers prepare for deployment