Maryland Army National Guard Company deploys to Afghanistan

PARKVILLE, Md. - About 90 Maryland Army National Guard members from the 290th Military Police Company said goodbye to friends and family at a deployment ceremony at the Armory in Parkville Thursday.

They are leaving to serve for a year at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan.

Although it's the company's 5th deployment since 9-11, it is the first for First Lieutenant Deanna Matteson.

Matteson said it's good to go with her platoon, but will have to leave her young son and husband, who recently returned from a deployment in Kuwait.

Specialist Philip Clarke, from Baltimore, said it is hard to leave his 7-month-old daughter, Aubrey, but is confident that his family will take good care of her.

"It's very difficult to leave…but I'm going for a cause greater than myself," he said.

The Griffin family has dealt with deployments before, but it doesn't make it any easier.

Staff Sgt. Anthony Griffin is going on his second deployment with the group. He said he's happy to go with a group that's like his extended family and learned a lot from his last deployment.

Part of what he learned was how to transition back into civilian life after being abroad for a year.

After Griffin's last deployment he said that his youngest son, Davon, didn't recognize him when he returned.  It took him a month or so to feel comfortable enough to give him a hug.

Now his family will have to get used to him being away again.

His wife, Staff Sgt. Tori Griffin, will stay in Maryland with their 5 sons.

She says their family can do it.

"It'll be a little hard, but we've done it before and we'll do it again," she said.  "I'm very proud of my husband.

The company will head to Texas for training before heading to the Middle East said Company Commander Andrew Wrenn.

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