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Families and friends have given a formal send-off to a Massachusetts National Guard unit heading for Afghanistan to help prepare for the departure of U.S. troops.
The 379th Engineer Company will be dismantling unneeded American bases.
The Telegram & Gazette reported Friday the 160 soldiers are from Auburn, Fitchburg, Milford, Oxford, Spencer, Winchendon, Whitinsville and Worcester. A few are on their third deployment since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. They were in Afghanistan in 2010 and in Kuwait in 2003.
The deployment is hard on a Mansfield couple.
Sgt. Bre Sullivan, retired after being critically injured in a grenade attack in Afghanistan in 2010, is sending her husband, Sgt. Joseph Sullivan, back alone this time. She said "it's a bittersweet day for us. We never had to say goodbye."