On this, his last day in Michigan, Spec. Joseph Fournier's walking his nephew and brothers through his role as a fueler, a job he admits is dangerous.
"You think about the mission first, so you can get home to your family," Fournier says.
As they prepare to leave, emotions are raw. Many in the 1461st are preparing for a second round in Iraq. They returned in February 2005 from a year deployment.
60 veterans join 239 others, the largest National Guard unit to ever deploy from Michigan. They're headed first to Camp Atterbury in Indiana, then to a year overseas.
The city of Jackson is inviting everyone to the send-off. At 10 AM, troops will march from the armory to the fairgrounds for a ceremony. Well-wishers can line the streets for a farewell parade from the fairgrounds down Ganson, Francis, Michigan, and West to I-94 beginning at noon.