West Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Sunday, families came to the West Columbia Armory for a deployment ceremony for their troops who are about to spend 10 months in Kosovo.
"Its my first deployment," said Platoon Leader Chris Cockrell.
Soldiers and their families are cherishing every minute together before being apart for 10 months.
"I am very proud of him, I am proud of all the guys, " said Stephanie Whitfield.
For Whitfield, it's her boyfriend Chris Cockrell's first deployment.
"I am just anxious to get it started so we can get it over with," said Whitfield.
The 132nd Military Police Company of the South Carolina National guard is deploying to Kosovo.
"Mental preparedness to knowing that I am going to come back to them soon enough and I have some young kids that I hate to leave and I hate to leave my girlfriend but I have to serve my country, I want to serve my country and I am going to take this group of high speed MP's out there and do a good job for K Force 16," said Cockrell.
"I am going to miss them but I am glad that I am going on this deployment," said Heather Saddler.
This is also Saddler's first deployment and her father Philip says he has mixed feelings about his daughter being away from him for almost an entire year.
"Fear and proud, fear for her safety and proud of her," said Philip.
Many soldiers take something with them to remember their family by--for Cockrell, it's family photos.
"I will definitely miss the touching and being able to hold on to them but the pictures will do me fine i'm sure," said Cockrell.
For Saddler her memory will be her 2 year old daughter's voice.
"I actually got a build a bear with my daughter and she said that I love you mommy on it so when I get sad I can just press the button and she says I love you mommy," said Saddler.
So for the next 10 months families will only have one thing on their mind.
"Just bring her home safe," said Heathers mother Christine Keith.