Two hundred members of the Texas Army National Guard cased their colors today ahead of a nine-month deployment to Egypt.
The 1-124 Cavalry squadron will head to the Sinai Peninsula to work with the Multinational Force & Observers in enforcing the 1979 Egypt-Israeli peace treaty.
"It's an absolute honor for this unit," Command Sgt. Maj. Marius Pusar said. "It's our second time doing it and we can't wait to get on the ground and continue the tradition."
Hundreds gathered in the bleachers at the Waco High School gymnasium to support these troops as they head to Africa.
It led one general to say it's the largest crowd he's seen at a deployment ceremony.
"There's great pride," Brig. Gen. Michael Adame, the assistant division commander for support in the 36th Infantry Division in Austin, said. "That's how we know we can succeed in our mission, is to have that kind of strength and support at home."
Sunday, the squadron will bus to Fort Bliss near El Paso to finish pre-deployment training and exercises. They expect to be on the ground in Egypt by the end of January.
But as these soldiers prepare to leave their loved ones behind for almost a year, it's not without a message.
"Be patient," Pusar said. "Please be understanding and stay connected with us overseas."