Ceremony held for deploying Ohio National Guardsmen

Local News

GAHANNA (WCMH)—A ceremony was held inside Gahanna Lincoln High School to honor the 50 Ohio National Guardsmen, who left on Sunday for Texas where they’ll be for about a month before deployment to Germany.

Captain Aaron Smith is just one of 50 Ohio National Guard Soldiers deploying for a year to Germany leaving behind family, friends and his girlfriend Brittney Kiesel.

“Being one of the deployed soldiers there’s a lot of emotions going through my head. I’m excited, nervous we spend a lot of time training for this and so we’re prepared and excited to go overseas do our job and come back and celebrate,” says Smith.

The 50 soldiers are deploying in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve. Captain Smith says it means a lot to have the support from his family and girlfriend at Sunday’s ceremony. 

The day felt surreal to Brittney as she says, “I’ve been pushing it back since we heard. Just not thinking about it, but now obviously I can’t do that. It’s going to be difficult because it’s a year. It’s going to be a challenge to figure out how to adult alone.”

Brittney added the two of them live together and it’ll be different to be alone.

“I think having to go to sleep alone will be difficult. Having to mow the yard, pay rent. Just kind of figure out how to do everything by myself instead of being like I got to work 12 hours today can you do something with the dog or can you go grocery shopping,” says Brittney.

And when Captain Smith gets back –

“We’re just looking forward to planning more vacations, we love to travel. Relaxing together those are the things we get to look forward to for the countdown,” says Brittney.

Captain Smith, “I really hope it goes by super quick. We’re just going to be counting down the days until we come back.”

Captain Smith and Brittney made a pact that she’ll wait until he gets back to start watching their favorite TV show final season.

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