Withers was one of more than 100 Indiana National Guard members that were treated with a ceremony Friday at North Clay Middle School. The soldiers from the 138th Quartermaster Support Company, departed the county Friday for Camp Atterbury before being deployed to Iraq.
Withers' girlfriend Krikette said the holidays were "very emotional."
"We spent everyday over the holidays together," she said.
Withers' father Kevin was pleased he was able to spend time with his son during the holidays.
"I knew it would get here," Kevin said of the deployment. "I'm really proud of him."
Friday's ceremony included speaking engagements from several soldiers, including 519th CSSB Commander Lt. Col Kevin Vedder, 138th Quartermaster Support Commander Capt. Laura Pratt, 138th Quartermaster 1st Sgt. Neil Stough, and Sgt. 1st Class Neil Brown.
"You all are absolutely amazing," Pratt told the audience. "This is a tough day and there are a lot of emotions. But we're going to make it through this day.
"I say this place is magic and it truly is."
Stough also thanked those in attendance Friday.
"This is exactly the way we wanted it," he said. "We wouldn't have it any other way."
Specialist Brad Keil, Terre Haute, spent the final few moments prior to leaving for Camp Atterbury with his wife Reba.
"We've just adjusted," Reba said. "We've known about (the deployment) for a while."
The unit was notified in September the soldiers would be departing for Iraq at the turn of the year.
The unit performs logistics operations such as issuing, receiving, transporting and storing supplies.
Staff Sgt. Mike Ames said some of the soldiers in the unit have been deployed before.
"We're going with a very good company and a very good first sergeant," Ames, a resident of Clay County, said. "We're all very confident things will be taken care of here at home. I'm a full-time soldier. I'm lucky my family supports me.
"They knew we were going to go sometime. Our number came up."
In addition, Brazil City Council President Bill Lovett stepped in for Brazil Mayor Ann Bradshaw, who was unable to attend. Lovett read a prepared speech.
The Northview High School band also provided entertainment and the Boy Scout Troop 101 posted the colors.
While speaking to the audience, Stough got emotional, but added the troops leaving would be in good hands.
"We're going to take care of these soldiers," he said.