WEKU-FM: Brenna Angel, Kentucky Public Radio

More than 1,300 soldiers are deploying to Iraq this month for the Kentucky National Guard's final mission there: helping to shut down U.S. military operations. But some soldiers are coping with not only the pressure of deployment, but also the stress of putting their civilian jobs on hold.

The Kentucky National Guard's 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade will primarily be in charge of convoy security in Iraq, making sure U.S. equipment gets safely to Kuwait and onto ships. They represent half of the 2,600 troops they'll be joining from Oregon, Virginia and Utah.