It was a send-off that has become all too common.
Local American Legion Riders hosted a reception Sunday afternoon for three soldiers as they prepare to go overseas.
Kansas Army National Guard Sgt. Jeconiah Spangler and Kansas Air National Guard Senior Airman Matt Williams, both of Florence, and U.S. Marine Sgt. Nathan Person of Newton, were recognized for their willingness to serve in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
No stranger to serving overseas, this will be Williams’ third deployment and Spangler’s second.
Williams said he anticipates leaving in January. After training he will be deployed to Iraq.
Spangler will leave in February and will be deployed to Afghanistan.
Neither men were sure how long they will be gone.
Person and wife Amanda currently live in Yuma, Ariz. Amanda’s parents are Marion residents, Darrell and Linda Brewer.
A dozen or so riders were escorted by law enforcement from Eastmoor United Methodist Church to the Marion VFW on Santa Fe Street. Some riders came from as far away as Hillsboro and El Dorado.
When thanked by others for taking time to support the local troops, the response from the legion riders was, “We wouldn’t have missed it.”