Students bid farewell to soldiers heading to Afghanistan

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Published: Apr 16 2013 10:44:57 AM EDT   Updated On: Apr 16 2013 06:12:50 PM EDT
Soldiers sendoff
CUMRU TWP., Pa. -

Dozens of soldiers being deployed to Afghanistan were given a spirited sendoff Tuesday, thanks to hundreds of their young neighbors.

Governor Mifflin students, many dressed in red, white and blue and holding flags and signs, lined up outside their schools as buses carrying more than 140 soldiers passed by.

The soldiers, members of the U.S. Army's 333rd Engineer Company, are being deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Their reserve center is adjacent to the Governor Mifflin campus, which includes the Cumru Elementary, Governor Mifflin Intermediate and Mifflin Park Elementary schools.

The unit works on construction and engineering, including road work, grading for roads and airfields and surface and drainage maintenance.

The farewell comes exactly one week after two Pennsylvania National Guard soldiers were killed when their helicopter crashed in Afghanistan.

One of the victims was Chief Warrant Ofc. Jarett Yoder, a Brecknock Township resident and 2005 graduate of Oley Valley High School.

Funeral plans for Yoder have not yet been finalized, according to the Pennsylvania National Guard.