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Families say goodbye as 455th Engineering Company deploys to Afghanistan

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - 455th Deployment

It was a bittersweet day for the soldiers of the Hayden, Idaho based 455th Engineering Company, as they said goodbye to friends and family Tuesday as the unit prepares to deploy to Afghanistan.

The 455th is facing a daunting task during its year-long tour of duty in Afghanistan.

"They will be clearing the way, running route clearance packages through Afghanistan and our main mission is to find and defeat all IEDs along the route for traveling coalition forces," Captain Mason Flemmer said.

For that year these soldiers put their lives here in the Inland Northwest on hold.

"Your life does revolve around your Army schedule and the rest of life happens but you always have that and that comes first you just have to schedule around it," Deann Peterson said.

Peterson has an older son who's already deployed already and made it home but this deployment is her other son Private Victor Peterson's first time going to war.

"Very proud one and two I know in my heart that God takes care of my child where ever he is in the world and that has made this Army mom get through it," Peterson said.

Another Army mom more proud than scared is Linda Kagel, seeing off her son Alex.

"I really think that the Army is going to take good care of him and he is going to be fine. I believe in God," Kagel said.

As the families gathered together Tuesday to wish the troops well, they showered them with appreciation and kind words for the work they've done so far, and encouragement for the task they have ahead of them.

"It's huge for them," Flemmer said. "None of us want to be forgotten. We're still fighting, still doing our job."