The soldiers in the Kentucky National Guard were once known as "Weekend Warriors," but now their service in Arizona and their role overseas is changing that.
The Kentucky National Guard says from September 2001 to today, nearly 8,000 National Guard soldiers from the Army and Air Guard combined have been deployed overseas.
Lieutenant Colonel Mike Farley has been active in the military for around 24 years. He's been enlisted in both the National Guard and the Army.
Lieutenant Colonel Farley was in the National Guard for six years, the Army for 13, and then returned to the National Guard where he's been serving for the last five years.
Lt. Colonel Farley says: "We realize it's not a matter of if we get called, but when we get called out."
National Guard soldiers take time away from school, their jobs, and their family to serve in the military.
Lt. Colonel Farley is in charge of training some of the National Guard soldiers for the current conflict in Iraq. He says: "You still want to prepare soldiers for combat, prepare them to fight and survive on the battlefield, which is our goal."
He says this war is different than those in the past because in conventional warfare, you think of your enemy as being in front of you.
"In the war we're in now the enemy is 360 degrees around you."
Lt. Colonel Farley says soldiers are also trained how to be aware of the Iraqi men, women, and children they'll come into contact with while they're overseas. He says: "Our intent is to give them the ability to go to school, to make decisions, to vote, so they have democracy and freedoms we enjoy."
Those with the National Guard say now it's all an Army of one and they work alongside career soldiers.
Sgt. Major Richard Bogle says: "They're going to receive the same type of training that an active duty soldier would go through, the same post. They'll be side by side going through the same training."
Lt. Colonel Farley says all of his men work together to complete their missions and he hopes the work they're doing in Iraq makes life better for those civilians.
He says: "To me, that's how great things are accomplished; it's a group of people with a common goal saying, "hey we can make a difference."