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Deploying guard members called brave, selfless, generous

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Hundreds of family and friends packed the Cottage Grove Ice Arena Friday for an emotional send-off to the Cottage Grove-based Minnesota National Guard unit heading to Iraq this weekend, hearing from a thankful Gov. Tim Pawlenty who called the soldiers and their families "brave, strong and courageous."

The 204th Area Support Medical Company will leave Saturday for Fort Lewis, Washington, the first stop on a 12-month tour of duty that will take them to Camp Bucca in southern Iraq.

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