More than 2,800 soldiers prepare for deployment

More than 2,800 local soldiers are about to leave New Jersey over the next week to serve in Iraq.

Half of New Jersey?s National Guard will be deployed. Jon Gordon, 21, joined the state?s National Guard about a year ago, knowing that his three-year contract could eventually lead to his deployment. ?It just comes with it,? Gordon says.

Gordon, a Hackettstown native, will be leaving on Monday. He will leave his wife, Adrianna, and his job at CMK Pools, where he has been working for three months, behind.

Chris Kaliczynsky, Gordon?s father-in-law, works with Gordon at CMK Pools and calls his son-in-law one of the best. ?He?s a good guy and a quick learner,? Kaliczynsky says.

Gordon says he joined the National Guard to help pay for college. He says the hardest part will be leaving his wife of three months behind.

Gordon needn?t worry about a lack of support from his family. ?I think it?s great,? Kaliczynsky says. ?I have nothing but respect for the guys in the armed forces.?

After leaving on Monday, Gordon will travel to Fort Bliss in Texas to train for a few months before moving on to Iraq.

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