As deployment time gets closer for members of the Minnesota Army National Guard, the community is invited to show support for the soldiers and their families as part of a deployment ceremony and send-off events on Saturday, March 28.
Area Guard members from units including Morris, Appleton, Ortonville, Montevideo, Marshall, Madison and Olivia will be deployed to the Middle East in April.
The deployment ceremony is 5 p.m. at the Morris Area Elementary School gymnasium.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Major General Larry W. Shellito, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard, are scheduled to participate in the ceremony.
Following the Deployment Ceremony, a community meal will be served beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Lee Community Center. The meal is free for the soldiers and their families and a free-will offering will be accepted from others.
The evening is capped off with a community dance at the National Guard Armory beginning at 8 p.m.
Morris Family Readiness Group member Barb Hesse said area organizations, businesses and individuals have provided generous support for these events, especially the community meal and she encourages everyone to share an enjoyable evening with the soldiers and their families.