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      Soldier send-off in Calumet

      Nearly a hundred U.P. National Guard Soldiers, along with 20 others from downstate, were deployed for a yearlong tour of duty overseas Sunday.

      Family and friends bid a heartfelt farewell to members of the 1431st Engineer Sapper Company in Calumet.

      For SFC Josh Yaniskivis, this is his second tour of duty, but this time when he goes, he's leaving his five-and-a-half-month pregnant wife.

      "It doesn't get any easier, said Josh, and her being pregnant is, just adds on to it, but we'll handle it pretty well."

      "I'm a little worried, this being my first pregnancy, that things are going to come up unexpected, and I don't know what to do, said his wife Michelle Yaniskivis. (But) I have family, and last time he was so good; supported me on the phone from over there."

      Many of the guardsmen are young men, some leaving their young families for the first time.

      "You have mixed feelings; it's hard to leave family, friends, girlfriends, said Spec. Bryan Quello, so you're kind of anxious to go and get it over, but at the same time you don't want to leave."

      During the official ceremony, the 114 National Guard members were told their mission to Afghanistan will not be easy. But with the support of their families, friends, and fellow guardsmen, they know they TMll make it through.

      From Calumet, they'll travel to Fort Shelby in Mississippi for two months of training. Then it's off to Afghanistan where they'll act as security for traveling convoys in the war zone.