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Douglas County soldier heading for Afghanistan

For one Douglas County National Guardsman, deploying overseas is nothing new, but this time it ll be a little tougher to leave. Sgt. Trevvor Simmons, one of 30 soldiers from the Oregon Army National Guard 1186th Military Police Company, is set to deploy to Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom s Sentinel. The 27-year-old Simmons is from Roseburg, but is a graduate of Oakland High School. He joined the National Guard while still in high school and has been a member for nine years.

The hardest part for him is having to leave his family for a year.

I m excited but nervous. I m leaving behind my wife and two young children so it s mixed emotions, Simmons said. Simmons will also be leaving his job as lead cook/manager at a Roseburg restaurant. The soldiers will provide personal security detail in Afghanistan. Their mission will be to protect individuals or groups.

In a sense it s very similar to what the Secret Service does for the president, Simmons said.

Simmons was previously deployed to Afghanistan in 2011- 12, and he knows very well, that it is a dangerous part of the world.

Going back on a deployment is a little nerve wracking because it s never the same. Things change, it can become more and more dangerous on a day-to-day basis, Simmons said. In his previous deployment, Simmons did several jobs, including medevac missions that involved transporting injured local nationals. He also did some foot patrols, and what the National Guard calls key leader engagements, helping some local national police departments and army personnel.

It was a very broad deployment where we spent a lot of time doing a lot of different jobs, Simmons said. The National Guard s 1186th MP Company is based in Salem, and often partners with local law enforcement agencies for training. The unit partnered with district and federal agencies to provide security, crowd management and traffic control for the 58th presidential inauguration in January in Washington, D.C.

The platoon went through the mobilization ceremony in Salem on May 25, with several Oregon officials on hand, including Gov. Kate Brown, State Treasurer Tobias Read, state representatives and some community and military leaders. The group will go to Fort Bliss, Texas, for two months of training before leaving for Afghanistan. The soldiers need to be certified on what Simmons calls the Big Army Scale. They ll be trained by the 1st Army Division to make sure they are at the level at which they need to be. The citizen soldiers come from throughout the state of Oregon and a few from Washington.

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