MADILL, Okla. -- It was a tough day for military families across the area as their loved ones leave Texoma for a deployment to Iraq. On Friday the community came together to say goodbye to those troops in one of the area's largest send-off ceremonies.
More than 500 friends and family filled the First Baptist Church in Madill to salute the heroes of the 1245 who are leaving Texoma to defend our freedom in Iraq.
Area residents lined the streets to send the 1245 off in style, saying farewell to our local heroes during a ceremony organized by the Marshall County Chamber Of Commerce.
The First Baptist Church was full of military families who wanted one last look at their soldiers before they leave on a year long deployment to Iraq. Family members said it was a somber day, but knowing their loved ones have the support of the community helps.
Even the soldiers say they were shocked to see so many people turn out to show their appreciation. They say it makes them proud to see how much the community really cares about what the 1245 does for the country.
As they send their loved ones off to war torn Iraq, families say they're already counting down the 365 days until they hold another ceremony for their soldiers to welcome them back home.
The soldiers will leave Monday and head to Fort Bliss in El Paso to conduct about 8 weeks of training. There are plans to have the soldiers home in time for Christmas right before they leave for Iraq in January.