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Friends, family help send off Army troops during deployment ceremony

Engineer company members expect to serve in the Middle East
Deployment ceremony at Palm Beach Lake High School in West Palm Beach.jpg Oct. 14, 2023
Posted at 1:48 PM, Oct 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-14 19:15:07-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — About 150 men and women said farewell to their loved ones before spending the next 11 months overseas, including expected service in the Middle East.

U.S. Army soldiers with 388 Engineer Company out of West Palm Beach held a deployment ceremony Saturday morning.

Deployment ceremony at Palm Beach Lakes High School in West Palm Beach.jpg Oct. 14, 2023
Deployment ceremony at Palm Beach Lakes High School in West Palm Beach.

The soldiers have different backgrounds and levels of experience.

“It’s my second deployment," Martin Orikuma said. “I’ve been looking forward to it for a while.”

The ceremony is a way for families and friends to say goodbye and wish them the best as they go on this dangerous journey.

“I feel the support, that’s why I always attend these ceremonies because we are not alone,” Francene Ferreira Duffus saId. “There’s a lot of groups, Facebook groups. Were just hoping that they’re going to come back home safely. We are happy to have these functions going on.”

WPTV spoke to some of the men and women being deployed and their families on this emotional moment.

“There is a certain mental toughness that you need to have, to be away from your family, being in a certain environment for a period of time,” Travis Duffus said.

Organizers of a deployment ceremony over the weekend at Palm Beach Lakes Community High School told WPTV the troops are headed overseas. People at the event said the troops are going to the Middle East, although no official location was given.