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    Posted May 7, 2012 by
    Iron Mountain, Michigan
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
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    Honoring Deploying Soldiers


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     DaElmersBack shot these photos and video of members of the Michigan National Guard readying for deployment to Afghanistan on May 4. 'I am a member of the Michigan Patriot Guard Riders, we were invited to stand a flag line and to escort them to the bridge. I drove the 200 miles with them part of the time in front, the other half in back of the group. Very somber moments along the way as children were standing near their schools holding flags and waving,' he said. 'We have been [in Afghanistan] too long, it's time to come home now.'
    - jmsaba, CNN iReport producer

    As the 1432 Engineer Company deploys from Kingsford, Michigan.. The MI Patriot Guard Riders are there waiting. We Honor these Soldiers and their Families by standing with American Flags.


    When it comes time to leave, we fly our flags in front of the group, so people know Brave American Soldiers are coming.. We also stay behind them so we can keep them as close as possible, for as long as we can.


    To see the entire Playlist of this escort, please visit:


    One thing that people may not understand about the PGR, many are Vietnam Veteran's who want to be sure No Soldier is EVER treated the way they were so many years ago. When I ride with these guys, I have a lot of respect for them, as well as the soldiers we Honor.


    We traveled over 200 miles with these young soldiers, all through Upper Michigan until we got to the Mackinaw Bridge. Police escorted us the entire length of the ride. So many people standing along the way offering their support too. A very emotional escort it was..


    As we pulled over near the Mackinaw Bridge, our mission was complete.. yet theirs had only begun. Stay Safe Soldiers, we'll be here to bring you home one year from now...

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