Michael Haley (left), Gov. Nikki Haley (center, with son Nalin) and daughter Rena (right) on January 10, 2013.
Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and her children bid farewell to Michael Haley Thursday morning.
Haley is a member of the South Carolina National Guard's 3/49 Agribusiness Development Team, which is going to be in Afghanistan for about a year, where they will work with Afghan farmers on improving farming practices.
"This deployment is the reason I joined the National Guard," Michael Haley said in a statement. "It is important to me to be able to give back. So, in that regard, I am looking forward to the opportunity to serve with a great team from South Carolina. The only thing that gives me pause is the year long deployment away from family. But in the end, I can't help but to think giving one year along with my fellow soldiers, as many have done before me, to secure a life of freedom for my family is well worth all that comes with it."
Governor Haley issued this statement: "We are a proud military family who understands the sacrifices any family goes through when a loved one is serving his or her country. This is what our men and women in uniform sign up for, and although Michael, like his brothers and sisters, is looking forward to his mission, we will miss him while he's away. Rena, Nalin and I are proud of Michael and will pray for his - and all others' - safe return."
Haley joined the guard as an officer in 2006, and has never been deployed overseas. He has served as a medical service corps officer and as a planning officer in the Guard's Columbia headquarters.