LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE)- On Memorial Day, our nation pauses for a day to remember all of the men and women who have served our country.
Meanwhile, some of those same service members are preparing to deploy to Iraq.
This Memorial Day weekend, the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade of the Kentucky National Guard is getting ready to go overseas, into a war zone.
One box and Army-issued bag at a time, these Kentucky National Guardsmen are getting ready to go to Iraq next week.
"We brought the whole unit in on full time orders to go ahead and pack up their stuff and get ready to deploy." Captain Andrea Hahn said.
It took a year for the 1,300 members of the unit to train for this mission. They could be gone for up to 1year.
"There's a bunch that have been before, there's a bunch that this is their first time. we have 18 year olds...we have 45 year olds going." Hahn said.
They're packing everything they need for their mission. From uniforms to body armor and new gas masks.
They keep Memorial day and their fallen comrades in mind.
1st Sergeant Richard Southard said
"For recognition of course for fallen soldiers in past war deployments and things. Us having to be in over the Memorial Day weekend is an inconvenience, but it is our job." He said.