Families say goodbyes as soldiers deploy for Iraq
In a room full of camouflage, soldiers with the 101st Airborne Division sit in silence as they roll up the flag in a color casing ceremony.
It’s a goodbye before they head east to help train Iraqi troops in their fight against ISIS.
Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend says this is a mission that will draw on their skills as soldiers.
"The mission you’ve been given is extremely challenging," says Townsend. "I think probably one of the most difficult that our Army has faced since 2001."
It’s called Operation Inherent Resolve, and 500 soldiers from Fort Campbell are going on the mission.
For Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky, this will be his fifth deployment to Iraq.
"People say ‘Are you ready to go?’ We can’t start unless we leave. So casing those colors really, you know, people say your brain switches, and you’re really focused on the mission," says Volesky.
After the ceremony, Gov. Matt Bevin was caught taking a selfie with the unit’s commanding general.
The governor says the ceremony brought back memories of his time in the service.
"It was very sobering," says Bevin. "It was very inspiring. For me it was sort of a flash back in time. I’m a former active duty Army guy, so just a lot of emotion and a lot of sentiment in being a part of a ceremony like this."
The colors will be uncased in about nine months when the soldiers return home.