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LENOIR, NC (WBTV) -
More than 50 soldiers of North Carolina's National Guard 630th Combat Sustainment and Support Battalion based in Lenoir will be heading to the Sinai Desert in late spring.
The unit is being activated to take part in a multi-national effort to enforce the Camp David Peace Accords between Egypt and Israel.
"It is a peacekeeping mission," said Lt. Col. Greg Bunck, "To make sure the treaty is upheld."
The United States has had troops on the ground supporting the mission since 1981.
"It's scary and frightening," said Victoria Klinger, wife of Captain James Klinger who will be heading to Egypt with the unit.
Victoria said deployments are tough on families.
"Wives have to be mom and dad to the kids and keep the household together while soldiers are gone," she said.
The family has been through deployments before when James went to Iraq.
"We had been married just three days and he left," said Victoria.
National Guard officials admit that while the soldiers could face tough conditions, families back home have it difficult as well.
"You basically have to put everything on hold during a deployment," said Sgt. 1st class Randy Randolph.
Private Taylor Hollins was in college but has dropped out for now so she can go to Egypt.
"I'm ready to go to see what it is like." She has not been deployed before.
Last weekend the unit gathered for its monthly training exercises. It was likely the last time the group would be together as a unit before being activated. In one classroom, soldiers were filling out paperwork as well as birthday cards and other personal items for the family events they expect to miss during the deployment.
The soldiers expect to be on active duty for at least nine months. They will first go to a base in Indiana for training, then head overseas by late spring.
Victoria Klinger says the families of those going will lean on each other for support but should be all right. She and others said they are glad the unit is not going to an active combat zone, but it still won't be easy.
"We will be sad and lonely but we will get through it."