Local Soldiers Prepare for Afghanistan

At least 88 local members of the Florida National Guard are getting ready to go to Afghanistan, and it's going to be a long deployment.

The members of the 3rd Battalion will be joining more than 2,000 other Florida National Guardsmen in a mission to train the Afghan army.

The deployment will be for between 18 months and two years. While in Afghanistan, members of the 3rd Battalion, 124th Infantry will be showing Afghan soldiers things like how to carry out military missions.

For some soldiers it's not their first time being sent overseas in the last couple of years. Some of those headed out in the coming weeks actually served in Iraq.

Carol Atwell of Panama City is one of those whose husband is being deployed.

"When he says goodbye to me when he flies to leave, that'll be the last time I see him till he comes back home when his mission is through, so you're looking at least 18 months, At least 18 months," she says.

Not all soldiers will be gone that whole time. When the soldiers leave it will be at least six months before they can come home for an “R&R” break.

The local soldiers will be leaving here starting in mid-March.