The Vermont Army National Guard sent off 60 members with a deployment ceremony on Thursday. 

Guard members will be flying black hawk helicopters and will be stationed in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. They will first train with others from around the country. 

“The remainder of us will be leaving on Saturday by commercial airplane and we’ll be headed down to Fort Hood, Texas for a period of time before we deploy overseas,” said Kevin LeBlanc of the Vermont National Guard. 

LeBlanc said goodbye to his twin brother who was deployed on Thursday morning,

A senior Med evacuation pilot, LeBlanc said leaving family behind is the hardest part.
“There’s a lot of pride and a lot of patriotism in all of this but it is very hard to leave family and friends,” said LeBlanc.

Jason Lee of the Vermont National Guard leaves his first deployment Saturday with LeBlanc and will spend one year in Southeast Asia. 

“The comradery here is just amazing, like I said I live in Tennessee for two years now, and I come back here to drill and be with these people, they’re professionals, the comradery is really strong and yes they’re my brothers and sisters so I’m excited to go do my job with them,” said Lee.

LeBlanc said he will be in the same country with his brother but not the same location. Before his deployment, he will spend quality time with his family. 

“I want to spend as much time with him as I can before that day comes to an end,” said LeBlanc while holding his son, Thane.

The Vermont National Guard will be part of 1,500 soldiers from 13 different states to head overseas. 

The members will return in spring 2019.