WACO, Texas -- Thousands of friends and family members of Texas National Guard troops came out today for a sendoff ceremony for the soldiers, who are headed to Iraq next week.
It's the largest Texas Guard deployment since World War II.
Governor Rick Perry and Senator John Cornyn were among those in Baylor University's football stadium to support the 56th Brigade Combat Team, 36th Infantry Division.
The unit, based in Fort Worth with soldiers from more than 20 cities, is scheduled to leave within the next few days and spend a year in Iraq. The crowd waived flags and gave standing ovations as the soldiers ran onto the field to start the ceremony.