ETX National Guardsmen get special send off

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - 82 East Texans are being called up for duty. Thursday, local National Guardsmen will deploy to the Horn of Africa. Their mission includes providing support services for the military personnel also headed there.

Wednesday night, the Lufkin VFW and 702nd Military Police Company hosted a banquet for family service members on their last night together.

Congressman Louie Gohmert was in attendance at the send off and says the guardsmen play a critical role.

"Actually they are doing what George Washington set the pattern for. When our country needs defense, they pick up arms go do the job defend America and what we believe and our freedoms," said Gohmert.

This is the first farewell banquet for National Guard members, but organizers plan to continue this tradition to honor those who serve.

Copyright 2012 KTRE. All rights reserved.