It was an emotional deployment ceremony Sunday for 200 Alabama Army National Guard members in Cullman.
Friends and family came out to say their good-byes to the men and women of Company C of the 167th Infantry Division. The unit, which includes most of Cullman's guard force, also has members from around Alabama and parts of Georgia.
Alabama Governor Bob Riley was also on hand to wish the guards men and women well
"What you are doing is following in the footsteps of so many other men and women in the last 200 years," Riley said. "The National Guard has a tremendous tradition -- one I'm sure you all will live up to. The National Guard in Alabama I think represents the very best of patriotism in this country."
The guard members were scheduled to leave Cullman on Tuesday for 45 days of training in Mississippi. After training, they will be sent to Iraq.
Another deployment ceremony was held in Dothan Saturday night for members of the 1203rd Engineer Battalion -- also headed to Iraq.