Cheers to tears: Owensboro waves goodbye to soldiers

Local News

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) – It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from. If you’re young or old, big or small. The stars and stripes run through us all.

It’s obvious when you hear U-S-A chants drowning out noise from the engines of a jumbo jet.

Beneath a clear blue sky, hundreds of people lined Airport Road in Owensboro to see off 150 soldiers of the Kentucky National Guard.

“I thought it would be a good show of support and patriotism to bring my son’s out here,” said Jessica Deminey.

A young patriotic boy joins his family in the farewell.

The 206th Engineer Battalion is headed to the Middle East to focus on construction missions in support of Operation Inherent Resolve to defeat ISIS.

“This was his idea,” Deminey said, looking at her little boy and laughing at his outfit. “His hat and green army jacket.”

It’s a symbol of patriotism in the youngest generation that will make any heart swell with pride.

It is why one of the easiest decisions they have ever made, to be at the airport to say farewell, is also one of the hardest.

Sealed with a kiss, this woman says goodbye.

“You know, making a sacrifice, and we need to come cheer them on and tell them we’re thinking about them,” Deminey added.

Cheers mix with tears because this is goodbye for the next 11 months, but many say it’ll feel like forever.

While most know what’s at stake, it’s still hard to imagine what is waiting for the National Guard half a world away.

“Kinda sad,” said Reatha Davis. “I’m proud of these guys that are going, and I’ll be praying for them every day.”

Kentucky National Guard soldiers board the plane.

It doesn’t matter who you are; the red, white, and blue, we can all wave proudly. Especially when Owensboro’s own will do it all for our freedom.

“It’s overwhelming what they do for us,” said Lynn Turner. “We owe them so much and they deserve it.”

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This story was originally published on July 26, 2019

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