Local National Guard Soldiers in the 142nd Mechanized Infantry were the honored heroes at a special ceremony Saturday. The ceremony was held at the National Guard Armory in Plainview. More than half of the 82 member unit are based in Plainview. They will be activated on August 15 for eventual duty in Iraq. The men and women were honored individually at the event.
"They deserve the honor that they got here today and that they are our heroes for giving their time and their sacrificing to do what they're doing," says State Representative Pete Laney.
One reason why Dora Garcia decided to put together this ceremony. "I decided to put this on because we're a unit that is attached to Lubbock and I thought on behalf of the city of Plainview, 25,000 people, we have a lot of people who really want to show their support," says Garcia.
But the ceremony had an even deeper meaning for Garcia because her husband is also part of the unit. "I appreciate it a lot that she did that. She went out there and took initiative on herself," says Rudy Garcia, of the 142nd Mechanized Infantry.
The event included speeches from community members and a time of prayer. Also citizens of Plainview and the surrounding communities expressed their admiration and respect in the form of a wall of letters.
"It means a lot to our guys. I've read a couple of them and they are very supportive of us and we're going to need that support when we're out there," says Epifano Garza, of the 142nd Mechanized Infantry.
A support that comes in the simplest of forms.
"Just pray for us that's all," says A. Adia, of the 142nd Mechanized Infantry.
But perhaps the hardest part is for the little ones being left behind. "I want him to take care of himself," says Megan Adia, whose father is being deployed. "I love him and I don't want him to get hurt," says Justin Garcia, whose father is also being deployed.
The soldiers will first go to Fort Hood for training and will eventually be sent overseas to Iraq.