South Dakota couple celebrating 28 years before deployment - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

South Dakota couple celebrating 28 years before Kuwait deployment

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14 South Dakota Army National Guard soldiers are heading to Kuwait Monday.

We introduce you to a military family who is hoping to celebrate their 28th wedding anniversary before that deployment.

Kids are hugging their daddy's tight as soldiers are ready to head overseas and that includes Cmdr. Ken Schoenfelder. His wife Michelle most likely won't let him out of her sight this weekend.

"It's our 28th anniversary so it's a big day," Michelle Schoenfelder said.

Even though this is her husband's third time overseas, she's the first one to wish him luck.

"She's very understanding. We've been through a lot together being in the military and she's always been very supportive," Cmdr. Ken Schoenfelder said.

It's support from his wife and the crowd that he appreciates but he says leaving is never easy.

"It's difficult. It didn't sink in until the last few days and I know when I woke up and I'm getting ready today, it was like god, today's the day," Cmdr. Schoenfelder said.

The 927th Engineer Detachment unit will be gone for nine months. The Sioux Falls based group will design roads, buildings and camps. It's a unit that works well together. Cmdr. Schoenfelder says they treat each other like family.

"They will always let someone try but will never let anyone fall or fail so they always take care of each other," Cmdr. Schoenfelder said.

And when he returns to Sioux Falls in April, he plans to make it up to his wife.

"We joke about it now but when I get back we'll go on a nice trip to celebrate and we'll never forget what we did on our 28th," Cmdr. Schoenfelder said.

The Patriot Guard Riders and the Rolling Thunder were also at Friday's deployment ceremony. Members say it's the least they can do to honor those who serve our country. They traveled from Rapid City, Brookings, Sioux Falls and part of Minnesota.

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