Deployment ceremony set for Saturday in Milton-Freewater

Members of the 1186th Military Police Company are bound for Afghanistan.

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MILTON-FREEWATER -- A deployment ceremony will be held Saturday to honor local Oregon Army National Guard members bound for Afghanistan.

The event will begin at 2 p.m. at the McLoughlin High School auditorium.

Guard members are expected to leave town by buses starting about 4 p.m. headed for a year-long deployment.

The departing men and women are members of Detachment 1 of the 1186th Military Police Company, based in Salem.

The Milton-Freewater Armory is home to about 75 members of the unit.

Among speakers at Saturday's ceremony will be Maj. Gen. Raymond Rees, Oregon Adjutant General. U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden is also scheduled to be at the event, said Jessica Morris, an organizer of the ceremony.

Morris said local residents are being encouraged to turn out to show their support for the departing soldiers.

People who wish to wave goodbye to the guard members as they leave can do so along Main Street leading toward Highway 11.

After stopping in Salem, the unit members will go to Fort Bliss, near El Paso, Texas, for pre-deployment training.

They are expected to leave for Afghanistan sometime in mid-December.

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