Oregon soldiers get ready for Afghanistan

, Posted: Mon, June 9 2014 at 11:34 PM, Updated: Mon, June 9 2014 at 11:41 PM

Portland, Ore. -- (OPB)Hundreds of soldiers in the Oregon National Guard are deploying this summer and will be among the last Americans to serve in Afghanistan.

A battalion of 400 soldiers mobilized in Salem this weekend. Among them is Sgt. Jimmy Brown, who lives just outside of Wenatchee, Wash., and works as a ferrier, shoeing horses, in his civilian life.

But Brown is also part of an infantry battalion in the Oregon Army National Guard. He served in western Iraq in 2009. He’s proud of his battalion and kept training with it even after he moved to Washington.

Now Brown is preparing to deploy to Fort Hood for training and then Afghanistan for 10 months. He's looking forward to the challenge.

"As infantrymen, we are the front of the line. We do from time to time receive engagements with the enemy. That’s not fun, but it’s part of the job, it’s to be expected, and we’re trained for that," he said.

Brown says he's set up his bills to auto pay online while he’s in Afghanistan. His fiancee is taking care of his Labrador. And he’s planning to get married when he comes home.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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