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Soldiers promoted before deployment

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A departure ceremony at Fort Gordon was held Saturday for nearly 150 soldiers who are being deployed to Afghanistan. The 278th Military Police Company of the Georgia Army National Guard prepared to head to the Middle East, some newly promoted.  

After the formal ceremony, people gathered outside to watch as several members were promoted including James Gonzalez who was promoted to Private First Class with his family right by his side.

"I didn't see my family standing out there," said Private First Class Gonzalez. "I was like where are they and then when we were leaving, I saw them on the side so I got perked up and everything."

"We are proud of him and he believes in what he is doing," said his mother Karen Gonzalez.  

The ones promoted following the departure ceremony, the commander said they all earned it.

"All the soldiers in this company are solid people," said Cpt. Ryan David Gavant. "They're good people and they are good soldiers and they are doing what they need to do for this nation so that we can remain strong."

Gonzalez is heading to the Middle East providing vital security to U.S. and Coalition Forces and now with his new title, he is proud and positive about their mission.

"It's a lot of hard work but it pays off in the long run," said Private First Class Gonzalez.  

"It's always a good day to promote soldiers in the army," said Cpt. Gavant.  

"We can live our lives the way that we live because of him, said Karen Gonzalez.  

A reminder that keeps the Army mom smiling.

The 278th military police company last deployed to the Middle East in 2008.

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