S.C. Army National Guard Deploys 50 Troops in Support of U.S. Army Europe

This will be the first Air Defense Artillery Brigade in Europe since the Cold war. 


West Columbia, SC (WOLO)– South Carolina’s National Guard is deploying almost 50 soldiers overseas. This will be the first Air Defense Artillery Brigade in Europe since the Cold war.  Thursday the National Guard held a ceremony to say goodbye to family and honor those willing to sacrifice so much for our country. 


“There’s anxiety and fear… but I’ll say pride. Pride in what he’s doing,” Kristin Nabors said of her husband, Chad Nabors, deployment. This is her first time having to go through a deployment, it’s her husbands’ third time deploying. 


“I’ve been kind of happy for him, and I’ve been kind of sad. But I’m kind of really happy because we kind of get this honor to be chosen, and it’s really special having Mrs. Staley here and all these other really important people here to wish him off,” Lucas Michels said. Lucas is the oldest son of Lt. Col. Edward Michels. Edward is also being deployed for the third time.  Members of the Nabors and Michels family are heading to Germany with the 678 Air Defense unit from the National Guard to support air defense operations in Europe.


The families in the room know all too well it is often the little things they will miss most.


“Miss playing with him, playing softball, throwing the softball with him,” Jenna Michels, daughter and second born of Edward said. 


“I like hanging out and watching football with him on Sundays and throwing the football outside and stuff,” Lucas said. 


“Got a lot of softball to play, and baseball to play before then. So lot of things like that. Try to get as much as we can in before we go,” Edward said of the time he has left with his kids. Edward is set to leave South Carolina on Tuesday with the rest of the unit to go to Texas for some final training, which will take about a month according to the National Guard. Once their final validation is complete, they will head overseas. 


“Hardest thing I’ve ever done is leave our family,” Edwards said. 


For those who defend our colors, saying goodbye never gets any easier but they said the technology today, saying ‘so long’ does not have to be for so long. 


“It helps a lot. I remember, my first deployment I could barely talk on the phone. So, it’s a lot better and it does help out and we can talk every day and see what’s going on,” Edward said. 


“We Skype on a regular basis. We still get to experience all the special occasions together through technology,” Col. Richard Wholey, Commander of the 678th ADA Brigade said. 


Though it is not easy, col. Wholey said their mission is extremely important and (NCO) Sgt. First Class Chad Nabors said they hand-picked the best of the best.


“Yeah, I’m really proud of him and it’s a real honor for him to be chosen and sent over,” Lucas said.  Edwards  daughter Jenna echoed the same sentiment saying, “yeah, I’m very proud of him.”


“See them soon. You know, we’ll see each other soon,” Edward said. 


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