SOMERSET, Ky. (FOX 56/WKYT) – Several southern Kentucky National Guard units are preparing for a big sacrifice. The units are being deployed, right after Thanksgiving and just before Christmas.

Somerset Mayor Alan Keck has asked residents to line East Mt. Vernon and Main Streets as the guard leaves for the airport for their next mission.

“And what better way to do it on Thanksgiving weekend. They are willing to give the ultimate sacrifice, going far overseas, to protect us, to protect our freedoms, and we thought this was a small gesture to say thank you. We appreciate them,” Mayor Keck said.

People can come by City Hall/the Energy Center in Somerset and pick up a flag, then line up between there and Main Street.

“I think this is an opportunity for all of us to pause and thank them, be grateful and appreciative. The old saying, ‘freedom’s not free.’ This is another example of that,” Mayor Keck said.

Organizers want to stress this is not a parade, and there will not be streets closed. They want to encourage everyone to please stay on the sidewalks, to make sure everyone is safe.

Mayor Keck said early response shows it could be crowded in the downtown area.

“Yes, stay out of the streets, stay on the sidewalk, stay in your yard or stay at City Hall. Plenty of room. We will spread out across City Hall. Go to the Fountain Square, they will be driving through the fountain,” Mayor Keck said.

The units will meet up with others from other Kentucky cities before they leave the airport.

For security reasons, the guard could not say exactly where they are being deployed to.