DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — There were emotional goodbyes for many soldiers and their families as 400 Ohio National Guard members were deployed overseas on Thursday.

The Call of Duty ceremony is a sacred time but also a time of uncertainty for the troops and the families they’ll leave behind. Hundreds of soldiers from the Ohio National Guard’s 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team are leaving the Miami Valley and expecting about a year-long deployment overseas.

Task Force Saber Commander Lieutenant Colonel William Cousins has been deployed nine times over the course of 31 years and says the most effective advice he has is leaning on one another.

“It’s about teamwork, about the soldier next to you and being able to be vulnerable and lean on one another,” said LTC Cousins. “We’re all going to have hard days, so leaning on each other is a skill we have to develop.”

Some families who attended the ceremony say they are so proud of their sons and daughters but the road ahead is a quite humbling journey.

“I trust the lord, I trust the training in the soldiers they got and I trust the soldiers he’s going with,” said Resident Belinda Mallett.

Belinda Mallett is preparing for the second time, for her son, Sgt. Ivan Mallett to be deployed. The family remembers the first deployment in 2015, Sgt. Mallett says missing your loved ones never goes away.

“Just being away I think, not being able to be present with friends and family but just being away is the hardest part and thinking about that,” said Sgt. Mallett.

The Ohio National Guard’s 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team deployment is also making history with Second Lieutenant Madeline Lindley.

“I am the first female to deploy with Charlie Troop as an Infantry Platoon Leader which is exciting, so I’m ready to do the best for my guys and bring everyone home safe,” said 2LT. Lindley.

Lindley’s Grandfather Gene served as a Lieutenant in the Army Chemical Corp from 1961 to 1968. He says he’s been amazed at the journey Madeline is taking and knows the sky’s the limit for her platoon on this deployment.

“I want her to use all of her training she’s had and has a lot of good sense about her, I’m not worried about that, she’ll be a great leader,” said Gene Lindley.

The first ceremony took place on Tuesday in Tiffin, with others scheduled throughout the week at various locations around the state. 

Details for each ceremony follow: 

  • 1. 1st Battalion, 148th Infantry Regiment – 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, at Tiffin University Heminger Center, 350 Miami St., Tiffin, Ohio 44883 The 1st Battalion, 148th Infantry Regiment is headquartered in Walbridge and has previously deployed to Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Jordan. 
  • 2. 1st Battalion, 134th Field Artillery Regiment – 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, at Marysville High School, 800 Amrine Mill Road, Marysville, Ohio 43040 The 1st Battalion, 134th Field Artillery Regiment is headquartered in Delaware and has previously deployed to Europe, Kuwait, and Afghanistan. 
  • 3. 2nd Squadron, 107th Cavalry Regiment – Noon Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022, at Dayton Masonic Center, 525 W Riverview Ave., Dayton, Ohio 45405 The 2nd Squadron, 107th Cavalry Regiment is headquartered in Hamilton and has previously deployed to Kosovo. 
  • 4. 237th Support Battalion – 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, at Stow-Munroe Falls High School, 3227 Graham Road, Stow, Ohio 44224 The 237th Support Battalion is headquartered in Cleveland and has previously deployed to Kuwait and Afghanistan. 
  • 5. Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) and 837th Engineer Battalion – 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, at Thomas Worthington High School, 300 West Dublin Granville Road, Worthington, Ohio 43085. The Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 37th IBCT is based in Columbus and has previously deployed to Kuwait and Afghanistan. The 837th Engineer Battalion is headquartered in Springfield and has previously deployed to Kuwait and Afghanistan.