ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Hundreds of Minnesota families are preparing for an important and difficult mission Thursday night.

As many as 750 guardsmen with the Minnesota National Guard Red Bulls will deploy to Kuwait and Jordan. WCCO’s Reg Champan is with the unit at their deployment dinner in St Paul.

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They are the most deployed National Guard unit in America. And on Thursday, family and friends gathered to send off 700 members of the Red Bulls, who are being deployed to Kuwait.

“We go and we do what we’re trained to do. This is something that we’ve been training for for a long, long time,” Captain Justin Bradshaw with the Minnesota National Guard said. “So to actually have the support of the community (is great).”

“Well they’re giving their time and sacrificing for our community and for our nation. So it’s the last we can do to give back to them,” Paul Dzubnar, the CEO of Hightop Hospitality, said.

Serving our Troops volunteers have spent the last two days preparing a steak dinner. It’s a way to say thank you, and let the soldiers know that the community has their back.

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Captain Justin Bradshaw will lead many of these troops overseas. He says the send-off and dinner is a way to bring this unit closer.

“Some of us haven’t met the soldiers’ family members as well, so here’s a chance to have one big dinner together, almost like a Thanksgiving. But not just with the soldiers eating together, with the families as well,” Bradshaw said.

He also says the support of the community lets his troops concentrate on their mission, because they know their families back home are in good hands.

Serving our Troops is feeding 5,000 people between the troops and their families. It’s the 13th meal they’ve served and in 14 years, more than 90,000 steak dinners.

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The Red Bulls will spend about a month in Fort Hood, Texas, for training before they head to Kuwait. Their anticipated return is July of 2019.

Reg Chapman