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Florida National Guard members deploy ahead of the holidays

Two battalions headed out to their respective assignments on Saturday.

PALMETTO, Fla. — While most of us are busy preparing for the holidays and crossing off items on our shopping lists, others are preparing to serve their country. 

Approximately 200 members of the Florida Army National Guard's 3-265th Air Defense Artillery Battalion participated in a deployment ceremony Saturday before heading out on assignment. 

Family, friends, dignitaries, and military leaders gathered to say goodbye and send off the group.

According to the Florida Army National Guard, one battalion deployed to the National Capitol Region (NCR) in support of Operation Noble Eagle (ONE) and the other to Europe in support of the European Deterrence Initiative (EDI).

Members were able to spend Thanksgiving with their families ahead of their 365-day deployment.

“It’s a lot more special because you’ve been away before and you know how it is, so when you do get to spend holidays with each other it just becomes that much more enjoyable," Master Sgt. Juan Sanchez told 10 Tampa Bay.

Thank you for your service!

RELATED: National Guard members get final Thanksgiving at home before year-long deployment

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