Family prepares for deployment to Kuwait - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Family prepares for deployment to Kuwait

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WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - The Louisiana National Guard's 528th Engineer Battalion is scheduled to bid farewell at a deployment ceremony Tuesday, then Wednesday morning the group will be heading to Kuwait.

For many families, saying goodbye to a loved one heading overseas is tough, but what about soldiers leaving their children behind.

When you meet Addison Woodburn, 4, you not only falling in love with her immediately, but you can easily see how much she loves her family.

Addison is the sweet daughter of Brian and Julia Woodburn. Both are in the National Guard, and this week, both are having to say goodbye to Addison for a year.

Because she's only 4 years old, saying goodbye is a little confusing.

"She knows it's a long time, she understands it's close to a year, but for a 4 year old that's an awful long time," says Sergeant 1st Class Brian Woodburn.

Brian has been deployed once before, to Afghanistan in 2004, when he said goodbye to his other two children who are adults now. This time is a little different.

"That's mama, that's daddy, and that's me," says Addison as she points to a drawing she made of her family.

This is the first time Sergeant Julia Woodburn is being deployed.

"Five years ago, I did not have a child. There was nobody to really have to worry about. We went to Germany, we went to other places, and all I had to do was leave the dog with somebody to take care of it," says Julia, "and now, this is a little bigger than a dog, I've got somebody big here."

Although she can hardly stand leaving Addison behind, Julia says she had knew the risks of being deployed and even with the opportunity to not re-enlist, she did it for her daughter.

"I look at it this way, if I do it no one else has to, I still want to work and make a change," says Julia, "I want her to grow up and say 'My mom did something great and I want to do something great, no matter what it is.'"

Julia asks little Addison if she remembers how long they'll be gone. She says, "A long, long time." Then, we will be back soon. "Yes! Very, very soon."

The battalion says goodbye Tuesday morning at a ceremony at Fant-Ewing Coliseum at ULM at 10.

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