250 soldiers head off to Jordan after deployment ceremony in Los Alamitos

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. (KABC) -- A special ceremony at the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos was held for 250 soldiers with the California National Guard for their deployment overseas.

"It's a special moment that I know our soldiers will carry with them for the rest of their lives and I know the families will as well. If they didn't have this opportunity there would be a missing piece of the puzzle," Lt. Col. Jeramy Hopkins said.

The 1st Squadron 18th Cavalry Regiment, based out of Southern California, will deploy to Jordan to work with the country's army counterparts. The ceremony is especially poignant on the day people across the country honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The event gave soldiers and their families one more chance for an emotional farewell. This was Sgt. Joanna Hollis' first deployment, which makes leaving even harder.

"Words can't describe the feeling. You're leaving a part of your heart back at home and the world continues," she said.

Hollis and her brothers and sisters in arms boarded the plane and waved goodbye. Family members held back tears and said they can't wait until the soldiers come home - but they swelled with pride knowing those soldiers are serving their country.

"I can't express how proud. I mean, I don't want to get so emotional that I start to cry, but I couldn't be more proud than I am now," mother Michelle Hollis said.

The deployment is scheduled to last about one year.
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