About 180 members of the unit, which is based in Kennesaw, were treated to a lunch from Triple J's Catering at the Ben Robertson Community Center on Watts Drive.
The company's security mission will be at Bagram Air Base near Kabul in northeastern Afghanistan. The soldiers will primarily perform base security and detainee operations. They are scheduled to leave next Sunday for Fort Bliss, Texas, and will then deploy from there to Afghanistan.
A number of Cobb residents are members of the 190th Military Police Company. It will be the second and even third deployment in a combat theater for some of those serving in the unit. For others, the experience is new. Many expressed mixed emotions about going to Afghanistan.
"I'm ready to kick this deployment off, get on ground, start our mission and get back home," said PFC. Aimee May, 21, of Smyrna. "It's my first deployment, so I'm slightly anxious, nervous and ready to serve."
Though it will be his second deployment, Acworth resident Sgt. Brad Arrowood said he's nervous about leaving his family, including his wife, Amanda. He previously served in Iraq.
"It's never really easy," said Arrowood, 32. "You're gone and going to be away from your family, but those of us who have been deployed more than once kind of know what to expect. It's a different mission from what I did on the first deployment. But as far as the lifestyle and what it takes to get ready to go, it's something I've been through before."
Spec. Thomas Cofer, 23, of Marietta, served two tours in Iraq as an infantryman with the Marine Corp. He said veterans have a special role in advising the first timers.
"Experience is a big thing. Training is every important, but really when you get over there you'll see what it's all about," Cofer said.
Capt. Pervis Brown, company commander, said, "They're all leaving family, the people they love, people who love them, jobs, schools and whatever. We all go through the same processes. The challenges with leaving family, we all go through it."
Kennesaw Mayor Mark Mathews, City Council members, Kennesaw Police Chief William Westenberger and city staff were present for the event. Mathews presented Brown with a city of Kennesaw flag to carry with him to Afghanistan.
"Our thoughts and prayers are going to be with you," Mathews told the company. "At all times just know that we are all here and supporting you, this community, this city."
Brown said, "Not everybody agrees with what we do. But the great thing about the country that we live in is that we have the right to even express our disagreements. There's so many other places that you're not able to do that. So, it is a great country. We're going to defend this country and we thank you for the support that you've given us as we go do what we've been called to do."
Lt. Col. Lutalo Olutosin, commander of the 170th Military Police Battalion, told the soldiers that they're well prepared to carry out their mission.
"You've done everything that we've asked you to do and now you're ready to go and do the mission," he said. "I couldn't be more happy or proud of each and everyone of you."
Forgotten Soldiers Outreach Inc. - a nonprofit military support group - also hosted a sendoff party for the unit on Thursday night at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5408 in Acworth.