The 363rd Explosive Ordinance Disposal Company, a unit of men who volunteered for this dangerous detonating duty, depart for Afghanistan.
Men in uniform...wives...children...parents...against a backdrop of flags and patriotic marching band music -- A send-off for Arizona Army National Guardsmen being deployed to Afghanistan... Ten men comprise the 363rd Explosive Ordinance Disposal Company. "The unit is small, but their impact is big," says Commanding General Hugo Salazar.
The two small daughters of one sergeant were there for the big send-off. Did they do anything special with their dad before he had to leave? "Fixed one of our doll beds," they chimed. Their dad can assemble a doll bed...and disassemble bombs. Dad's already planned something special for his return in nine months -- "We're going to Disney World. We've got reservations all ready." And the girls have plans for when their dad returns -- "Play with him and hug him to death."
The men volunteered for this dangerous detonating duty. They go to Fort Bliss for a month, then on to Afghanistan. One father at the ceremonial send-off says, "We're proud of him. I served overseas, myself, in Vietnam."
The unit was presented with an Arizona flag to carry with them during their nine month mission. Commanding General Salazar told the men, "We don't need you to be a hero. Don't do anything stupid. We want you to come home." The proud father added, "My sister's going to put a yellow ribbon around a tree."