Family and friends of nearly 100 Iowa National Guard Soldiers braved the winter weather last night to attend a sendoff ceremony at Iowa City Regina High School. The 109th Medical Battalion is leaving for a year long deployment in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
Reena Wickencamp of Fairfield said goodbye to her husband, while trying to comfort her three daughters: eight-year-old Autum, six-year-old Jenna and two-month-old Lexi. "There’s recently been a lot of crying, a lot of them saying ‘I can’t sleep, I’m crying’…so they know," Wickencamp said.
This is the second overseas mission for the girl’s father. The 109th spent time in Iraq in 2003. Wickencamp says she takes comfort in the fact that her husband will be in Egypt rather than Iraq. "It makes me feel more secure, more safe that he’s not in a war zone. But then again, anything can happen," Wickencamp said.
Before heading overseas, the Iowa City based unit will receive additional training at Fort Lewis, Washington.