60 Minnesota National Guard members deploy to Kuwait, Iraq | KSTP.com

60 Minnesota National Guard members deploy to Kuwait, Iraq

Jessica Miles
Updated: February 08, 2021 06:59 PM
Created: February 08, 2021 06:23 PM

In a matter of days, Carin Hanson will be heading out on her second overseas deployment.

"Leaving the kids at home is, it’s going to be different," Hanson said.

Hanson says she didn't have children at home during her first deployment 13 years ago. 

She now has an 11-year-old, an 8-year-old and a 3-year-old.

"For my older two I think they understand as much as they can at this point (about me leaving)," she said. "I don’t think that it’s sunk in to them quite yet emotionally or mentally what that’s going to mean."

Hanson one of 60 aviators heading overseas to Kuwait and Iraq.

They will be there for nine months in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Spartan Shield. While deployed they'll provide aerial movement of troops, supplies and equipment.

"This will be a whole different unit, a whole new world for me, but I enjoy it," Hanson said. "It’s a great group of people who I will be deploying with and I’m fortunate to have the people that I have."

For Lorenzo Villanueva, this will be his first deployment.

"I’m ready to go," Villanueva said. "I’m ready to explore out there, I’m ready to see how everything is over there with their culture and everything, so I’m pretty excited."

While Villanueva is excited, the 20-year-old from Melrose says his family is feeling other emotions.

"They’re happy and they're nervous," he said. "My mom is super nervous, but I told her I’d be fine."

In a typical year, loved ones would be in person for the deployment ceremony. But they are watching it online instead due to COVID-19. 

"Deployment during COVID, it is completely different," Hanson said. "I miss having my family here and my family misses the opportunity to be here."

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