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Over 100 Utah Guardsmen on their way to Afghanistan

Posted - Jul. 9, 2010 at 8:55 p.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY -- One hundred and twenty members of the Utah National Guard left Utah for Afghanistan Friday.

The soldiers are with with the Guard's 118th Engineer Sapper Company and will spend the next 12 months in Afghanistan. Their job is to detect and disarm explosives and clear routes for coalition forces.

"[I] just want to do my job, get back home and start a new life," said Staff Sgt. Chris Chipman.

"[I] just want to get done and come home," Spc. Ray Garcia said.

Friday's farewell was particularly tough for Zana Heslop. Her son Colton left for Afghanistan two weeks ago, and now she's sending off another son, Luke.

Members of the 118th are from 58 different cities and towns across Utah, from Blanding in the south to Plain City in the north.

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