WESTFIELD, NJ -- U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) delivered the keynote remarks at the deployment ceremony for the New Jersey Army National Guard’s 102nd Cavalry Regiment, C Troop, which is being deployed to the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa in Djibouti.

“Today, [Jan. 21] 131 Hackettstown-area residents are being honored as they prepare to be deployed as members of the 102nd Cavalry Regiment in the U.S. Army,” Gottheimer said. “They’ve spent a year sacrificing weekends and vacation time away from their family, friends, and civilian jobs to prepare to serve our country overseas and protect American interests abroad. I couldn’t be more thankful for their service to our country and I am honored to address the parents, first responders, students, and small business owners at today's deployment ceremony. With today's deployment ceremony on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, it is so important to thank the 102nd Cavalry and their families for all they do to defend and support the freedoms we as Americans hold so dear. I want them to know, on behalf of those I represent, and on behalf of a very grateful country, how much we appreciate you answering the call, going into harm’s way on the other side of the world to stand up for the greatest country in the world, against all evils -- against terror, ISIS, al Shabaab, homegrown lone-wolf terrorism -- to protect what we hold dear. ”