HARTSELLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- About 140 soldiers in the Alabama Army National Guard said farewell to friends and family at a deployment ceremony in Hartselle Sunday afternoon.
They are members of the 152nd Military Police Company, headed to Qatar.
"We've all been trained in security, that's our main mission," first lieutenant Rebecca Bathrick said.
"We'll also be doing [Quick Reaction Force duties], if anything were to happen, we'll respond to that, and all the other military police functions."
Bathrick graduated from Auburn University last year and previously attended Marion Military Academy to become a commissioned officer.
Her younger siblings, Jeff and Anna, had posters for her as they sat through the ceremony.
"Missing our families is going to be the hardest part, but it's why we do it," she said.
"We love them and hope they never have to do it, so we volunteered for it."
However, the Bathrick family has done it for decades.
Her father Cary is a major who most recently deployed to Iraq in 2008-09.
"She grew up watching me in the military so I know she takes it seriously and is prepared to do her job for the unit and take care of herself and her soldiers," Cary said.
His great-grandfather was in World War II, an uncle in vietnam, and his wife, Rebecca's mother Stacy, is a lieutenant colonel.
"That sense of self-service and service to others and to our nation, she grew up with that sense of responsibility," he said.
"We're really proud of her."
Hundreds of family members of the other soldiers filled the Sparkman Civic Center to show support for their loved ones.
"They truly are the backbone that allow these deployments to happen," captain Jake Shook said.
"You can only imagine the issues that pop up when you're away from home for nine to twelve months. There's no way we can do it without the support of the families, so we truly do appreciate it."
The 152nd Military Police Company previously deployed to Iraq in 2006-07.
This deployment is set to last about nine months.