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Send-off ceremony held for local soldiers headed to Afghanistan

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FRANKLIN, Ohio - Months of waiting and worrying began Friday for many families around the Tri-State.

A special send-off ceremony was held for the 437th Military Police Battalion at Franklin High School. The soldiers will be sent to to Afghanistan for one year.

"It'll be rough being away from the family but we're going over there… to do our mission," said Steven Downard of Worthingon, Ohio. "It's a cause worth fighting for. We're proud to be going over there to do it."

General Deborah Ashenhurst told members of the battalion that they are "this generation's true heroes" and referred to them as "great warriors" during the ceremony.

The soldiers will depart Sunday for Mississippi, where they will begin additional training before being deployed.

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