Families gather to say goodbye to 250 Hoosier soldiers deploying to Kuwait for a year

KOKOMO, Ind. -- Two hundred and fifty Hoosier soldiers are deploying to Kuwait.

They’re part of a one-year mission with the Indiana National Guard’s 38th Sustainment Brigade.

Soldiers didn’t leave for Camp Atterbury until after their families gathered to say goodbye at the Kokomo Event Center Tuesday night.

Those deploying said they’re thankful and blessed they had the holidays to spend together before the soldiers leave on a plane.

“You almost do your best to make them even more special, even more memories and make sure to take as many pictures as you can,” said Sgt. James Gibson.

This is Gibson’s third deployment, but only his first as a husband and father. He and his wife have discussed how they’ll keep and touch and show him their son’s milestones, even while he’s away.

For Maegin Dicristofaro, an IU-Bloomington graduate student, the confidence in being able to handle her first deployment comes from her parents.

“My mom and my dad are both military,” said Dicristofaro. “I was actually born at Fort Hood, so nothing too new. I’m kind of used to this, but it’s just a different take on the fact, this time I’m actually the one going.”

Both Gibson and Dicristaforo sat in the audience as Governor Eric Holcomb and other Indiana politicians wished them well and prayed for their safety.

They honored the sacrifice both the soldiers and their families will make, knowing the year they have ahead of them will often seem long.