Central Illinois soldiers overseas send Thanksgiving messages back home

News

URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — It’s easy to get wrapped up in the platefuls of food on turkey day, but we can’t forget to give thanks, especially to soldiers overseas away from home for the holidays.

“Hello. I’m specialist Dakota Dowling. I’m deployed to Lviv, Ukraine. I just want to say Happy Thanksgiving to my friends, my family, and my dog biscuit. Love you guys!” says one soldier from Monticello.

She’s of more than 100 soldiers with Task Force Illini. They had a deployment ceremony at the Illinois National Guard building in Urbana back in June before heading to western Ukraine.

You can find them there now helping to develop a combat training center. The mission is part of ongoing efforts in the country’s military reform and security improvement goals. It will help with Ukraine’s acceptance into NATO.

“Hello. I am Sgt. Braden Highcock. I’m currently deployed to Lviv, Ukraine. I want to say Happy Thanksgiving to my friends and family back home,” says a soldier from Decatur.

“Hello, everyone! My name is 1st Lt. Makiya Turner. I’m deployed at Lviv, Ukraine. I would love to say Happy thanksgiving to all my friends and family back home,” adds another Decatur native.

They’re joined by soldiers from Springfield.

“Hey! I’m Staff Sgt. Allen Lot, and I’m deployed to Lviv, Ukraine. I just want to tell my friends and family Happy Thanksgiving,” says one soldier from the state capitol.

He’s not the only Springfield native in Lviv.

“Hello! I’m Specialist Yalenia. I’m deployed to Lviv, Ukraine. I want to say Happy Thanksgiving to my friends…y Feliz Dia de Accion de Gracias a mi familia.”

These Central Illinois soldiers and more are sending shout-outs to their friends and family back home.

They’re set to return home in May 2021.

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