Soldiers get ready for Kosovo deployment

Sunday was bittersweet for families of the South Carolina National Guard's 132nd Military Police Company.

The unit; along with five others from around the state, are getting ready to head to Kosovo. They will provide law enforcement and training to authorities in the young, developing country.

Staff Sergeant Patrick Junge has spent time in Bosnia before. He knows what to expect.

"It is a little colder obviously. South Carolina has lovely weather. A little less humidity. The people are pretty much the same wherever you go."

Junge also spent time in the Air force and has been deployed several times before. He said with each deployment comes a little more wisdom.

"I have more priorities. I am a little older, more grown up, a little more responsible. It makes things a little more difficult. But with love, support, and family, it makes things a little more bearable."

Junge's father Rich also spent time in the military. He said even though Kosovo has its share of concerns, he is grateful his son is being deployed there.

I'm glad he is going there and not Afghanistan. I would be very apprehensive with Afghanistan. I just don't think that that is a good place to go right now."

But he is happy his son is continuing the strong military background in the family.

"I'm proud of my entire family. My oldest boy is retired Nave, 20 years with the Navy. Patrick with his time in the Air Force plus the time here with the Guard. I am very proud of him."

Around 500 soldiers are deploying altogether; along with units from nine other states to support the mission. The National Guard said they will be gone at least nine months; if not longer.