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      Hundreds send off National Guard troops in Mullins

      More than 500 people turned out for the send off.

      The same day as thousands of military men and women were welcomed home, two units of the 4-118th Infantry Battallion were being deployed. A formal ceremony was held at the Mullins gym Sunday.

      "Are the troops ready?," Major General Robert E. Livingston, Jr. asked during the ceremony.

      "I'm excited," says SPC Jonathan Nile of North Myrtle Beach.

      The units have been preparing for months. They'll be part of an 800 soldier group that will head to Mississippi for six to eight weeks of training. From there they will depart to Kuwait for nine months to a year.

      The group, Capt. David Baxley of Mullins says, will be bringing back equipment from Iraq.

      "Today is the hardest part," says Capt. David Fowler of Union, South Carolina. This is his second deployment with the 118th as a logistics officer.

      "The easiest part is that he'll be coming home," Fowler's wife Lori says.