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Residents can see Guard troops off Sunday morning

Area residents are encouraged to rise early on Sunday and line the streets to bid National Guard troops farewell as they depart on a year-long deployment in the Middle East.

The Guard soldiers will leave the Morris National Guard Armory at 6:15 a.m. Sunday. The buses will travel along Atlantic Avenue before departing to travel through Alberta, Chokio, Graceville and Ortonville.

Family members of the troops being deployed will be in Morris beginning Wednesday as they prepare for their loved one's departure.

Tom and Barb Hesse, co-chairs of the Morris Family Readiness Group, asked residents and business owners to support their troops by tying yellow ribbons at their homes and on store fronts, in trees and other appropriate spots along Atlantic Avenue, in Morris.

Morris florists Morris Floral, Sweet Lily's and Keeper's Floral) are making bows to have for sale at a small charge.

The schedule for send-offs in other communities:

Olivia: Soldiers will arrive at 4:45 a.m. in the Citizens State Bank parking lot and depart Olivia at 5 a.m. The buses will proceed west on U.S. Highway 212, reaching Danube at 5:05 a.m.; Renville at 5:15 a.m.; and Sacred Heart at 5:25 a.m. The buses will reach Granite Falls at 5:35 a.m.

Montevideo: Soldiers will depart from the Training and Community Center and board two buses at 4:45 a.m. The buses will take U.S. Highway 212 and are expected to arrive in Granite Falls by 5:05 a.m.

Appleton: Soldiers will depart the armory at 7 a.m. Buses will proceed to Highways 119/40 to Madison.

The unit will board flights from Sioux Falls, S.D., en route to Fort Hood, Texas, before deploying later this year to Camp Virginia, Kuwait. They are expected to return to Minnesota in April of next year.