For the brave men and women serving our country, the final days before deployment can be difficult. On Wednesday, Maine leaders formally thanked 8 members of the Army National Guard before their yearlong mission in Afghanistan. A special send off ceremony was held in Bangor. Governor LePage, along with representatives from the U.S. Congressional Delegation, shook hands with the 4 pilots and 4 crewmen that depart in the near future. “It’s very important for Maine soldiers and families to know that the governor and representatives from our congressional delegation take the time out of their busy schedule to recognize the sacrifice and commitment of Maine Army National Guard soldiers as they prepare for a yearâ€™s long deployment. It’s comforting for those soldiers to know that the state and the nation are behind them,â€ said Major Michael Steinbuchel, Public Affairs Officer for the Maine Army National Guard. National Guard Detachment 14 will be gathering intelligence though surveillance and reconnaissance missions.