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Charlotte-area families bid farewell to Guard soldiers

Many families and communities across the state have already said their official goodbyes to the 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, which is deploying to Iraq for a second time. Today, soldiers from Monroe and High Point will get a send-off. Tomorrow, Charlotte and Belmont will have theirs. Major Al Hunt is a member of the unit, facing another year in combat - and away from home. "Nobody likes to be away from their family, but it's something I personally am committed to doing what I'm asked to do," says Major Hunt. "I think the sacrifice the soldiers families make, in a lot of ways, is greater than the sacrifice we make." The 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team is nearly four-thousand soldiers strong. Their departure means almost half of North Carolina's national guard troops will be overseas in 2009. The five ceremonies are scheduled at the following locations and times: Friday: * G Company, 230th Brigade Support Battalion: 10:00 am Friday January 2nd, First Wesleyan Church, 1701 Westchester Drive in Highpoint, NC 27262 * B Battery, 1st Battalion, 113th Field Artillery: 2:00 pm Friday January 2nd, Central Academy of Technology & Arts, 600 Brewer Drive in Monroe, NC 28112 Saturday: * Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 113th Field Artillery: 10:00am, Hickory Grove Baptist Church, 6050 Hickory Road in Charlotte 28215 * 1st Battalion 113th Field Artillery Support Element: 2:00pm, Saturday, January 3rd, South Point High School, 906 South Point Road in Belmont, NC 28012 * A Battery, 1st Battalion 113th Field Artillery: 4:30 pm, Saturday, January 3rd, Lincolnton Citizens Center, 116 West Main Street in Lincolnton, NC 28092