LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Fifteen Kentucky Guardsmen will soon say goodbye to wives, children and parents for 11 months in the Middle East. 

Lt. Colby Davis is one of a team of engineers from the 613th engineer facility detachment heading overseas. Their job is to oversee construction and operations to make sure troops in all branches of the military have the proper lodging, hospitals and other facilities they need to do their jobs.

After Thursday's ceremonial goodbye, they'll ship out early Friday morning.

"Eleven years ago, I felt like I had a calling to serve a higher purpose, and I've been doing it so long now it would be weird to not be doing it," Davis said.

Whether it's the first deployment or one of many, the families share a strong bond that keeps them going: a sense of pride.

"I'm extremely proud this is his 23rd year in military," said Whitney Valentine, who's husband is deploying. "So proud he is serving his country and putting it first."

This is the only unit of it's type in Kentucky and one of only 14 in the U.S. 

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