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North Dakota's 191st Military Police Company Leave For Cuba - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

North Dakota's 191st Military Police Company Leave For Cuba

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It was a bitter sweet send off for members of the North Dakota Army National Guard today. About 30 soldiers will head to Guantanamo Bay where they'll work at the high security prison, where terrorists from around the world are detained. Families and friends gathered at the Fargo Armed Forces Reserve Center to say their good byes to the 191st Military Police Company. Valley News Live was there for the send-off.

For many of these soldiers who will be heading to Cuba's Guantanamo Bay for about a year of service, this will be their first time out of the country.

Lt. Dan Duran is one of nearly 30 who will leave Sunday, "of course there's a little nervousness and excitement. It's my first deployment, I'm very excited for it of course and I think it's going to be a good experience."

For about half of these soldiers from the 191st Military Police Company though, this is their second tour of duty. Many of them were in Iraq from 2008 to 2009. A tour that would be much harder without the support of loved ones.

Lt. Duran's mother, Julie Duran, says his families behind him 100 percent, "he's grown up in a bigger family so a lot of support and a lot of love."

"It's been said time and time again that the strength of a nation is its army. The strength of it's army is its soldiers. And the strength of its soldiers are its families so to the family members thanks for what you do in your service to our nation as well."

Easier said than done of course. It's hard to say good bye, I'll see you in a year. But it's also something to take serious pride in. Something Lt. Duran's mother has a hard time expressing vocally; "I couldn't even express it in words. I try to do it in his birthday cards and I just... I'll miss him being close. We do some fun stuff together. Hunting in the fall and stuff. I'm extremely proud... Love him dearly, and all his siblings and family does."

Not just for moms, children, husbands, and wives. But also a staple of pride for our soldiers. Lt. Duran is excited to finally put his training to good use, "it's been good to me, and I feel like it's something I can do for my country."

The 191st will deploy tomorrow to Texas for a month of additional training. Then head to Guantanamo bay.

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