223 local National Guard members said goodbye to their loved ones Wednesday.
They're headed to
One of the soldiers, Ira Johnson is no stranger to deployment. He's already spent fourteen months in
His wife, Gina says there's nothing you can do to prepare for the hard goodbye, "You just smile for the kids. You know try and let them know everything's going to be okay. Smile for him.”
Chris and Kristin Burley have a bit of a different story. Both soldiers, they moved up their wedding day to November once Kristin found out she was being sent overseas.
"We thought Veteran's Day would be apropos. We're a military family and proud of it," said Kristin Burley.
Let's just say this is their first big challenge as newly weds. "I'm so proud of her and love her. She is my hero,” said Chris Burley. “And he's my hero," said Kristin Burley. Their children Sara and Nick plan to help dad count the days until she returns. "I'm just going to keep focusing on she'll be back soon and it will go quicker than I think," said Sara. "It means a lot she's going and I hope it goes fast like when my dad went to
Even though everyone seemed to be in good spirits - the reality is these men and women will be walking into a war zone. "Pretty much the whole areas dangerous. But I'm looking forward to it. It's my job. I'm excited. I definitely stand behind it just like a lot of military guys," said Clifton Betron.
"As long as we keep it busy over there it's less likely it will happen over here," said Johnson.