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Florida National Guard soldiers deploying overseas to help Ukrainians

Posted at 2:57 PM, Mar 17, 2022

Right now, more than 160 Florida National Guard soldiers are in parts of Europe and abroad after they were reassigned from their deployment in Ukraine.

A spokesperson for the Florida National Guard state office in St. Augustine tells WPTV that in November, the 53rd infantry brigade left Pinellas Park for a year-long deployment in Ukraine.

Their duty was to train that country's armed forces at a multinational training base.

A few weeks ago, the Pentagon reassigned them out of Ukraine to Poland and other countries due to Russian forces building up on Ukraine’s border.

The base the soldiers were training with Ukraine forces was attacked a few days ago.

The Associated Press report the attack killed more than 30 people.

The reaction here on the Florida home front is strong.

Walking in to the West Palm Beach National Guard armory, Sergeant Johnny Aleman's thoughts are with his fellow soldiers abroad.

“I think as a military we always look after one another. Yeah, I definitely feel for my brothers and sisters who are over there, helping out Ukraine and the situation that’s going on over there,” said Sergeant Aleman.

Recent National Guard retiree and soldier and family readiness specialist Traci Caicedo’s job is to keep national guard families calm in these uncertain times.

Caicedo said, "They never know what's coming. A lot of families have been on their own for a couple years now from the beginning of COVID then to just missions and now with this going on of course there's troops over there and they are waiting to see if they're going extend or come home in the next six months."

There are ways to send something from here in Florida to the Florida National Guard overseas.

Forgotten Soldiers Outreach sends care packages to active-duty troops around the world.

If you'd like to donate, you can ask that it specifically goes to the Florida National Guard deployed overseas.

You can donate at by clicking here.