Nearly 200 MD National Guardsmen Depart in Deployment for Middle East

Lt. Col. Eric Brown bought Christmas gifts early for his three daughters and hid them in their Windsor Mill home.

“My wife, she’ll tell them, ‘This is from daddy,’ on Christmas,” said Brown, who stashed away Strawberry Shortcake dolls for his girls.

“Daddy, can I go to the airport with you?” pleaded 6-year-old Tatania, leaning deep in his arms.

Nearly 200 Maryland National Guard soldiers parted with their families Sunday at this Army base in Northern Virginia for deployment over the holidays to the Middle East.