Before departing for a year to serve in Romania, an Arkansas National Guard company says goodbye

North Little Rock, Arkansas – Before being sent to Romania for a year, the family and friends of the 216th Military Police Company of the Arkansas National Guard are bidding farewell to their loved ones.

“We wanted to send them out the right way, away from the state of Arkansas, away from their home station by bringing their family members here as well as some senior leaders throughout the Arkansas National Guard to honor them and let them know that we care about them,” said Col. Anthony Sanders, brigade commander for the Arkansas National Guard 87th Troop Command. “We know their mission is important and we look forward to their safe return.”

The 87th Troop Command brigade commander, CSM Rodger Crawford, stated that his team is ready to take on this task.

“I know they are up to the task and I am extremely proud,” said Crawford. “They have trained. I have seen them grow. I have seen them be disciplined, help out, and mentor others. I think it is going to be a great opportunity for them.”

Sgt. Monique Jacobo, who recently received a promotion, is not her family’s first deployee. A second daughter of her parents is currently being sent to serve abroad.

“Our first daughter is in Saudi Arabia right now,” said Benjamin Jacobo, Monique’s father. “We are waiting for her to come back and then she leaves so it is pretty hard…Very, very proud of both of them.”

Monique is appreciative of the chance to assist.

I think the military gives you a foundation of how to live your life and I am appreciative,” she said.

Sgt. Grant Collier and his family are experiencing this for the first time.

“He is going to be gone for a while,” said Marla Collier, Grant’s mother. “It will be tough but we will send packages and letters and we will get through it. We will be excited for him to get home.”

Grant expressed his pride in serving his nation.

I take pride in the uniform. I take pride in being an American, to answer the call,” he said. “Not only to the state of Arkansas but to the United States. Very few people get to raise their right hand to do this and so I am eternally grateful to be a part of it.”

His relatives expressed their pride in him for his dedication.

“Super proud and hearing him say that, knowing that he is excited and they are all prepared makes it all the better,” Grant’s mom said.

At the ceremony, senior National Guard officers pledged to the unit that they would protect their families while they were abroad.

While in Romania, the business will be performing law enforcement tasks such as security patrols and customs responsibilities. On Monday, they are anticipated to leave for their mobilization post located in Fort Bliss, Texas.


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