West Columbia, SC (WLTX) - men and women in the Navy were deployed to Afghanistan on Sunday, but they didn't have their immediate family members there to send them off.
"They are there for us and to take care of us and provide us with the freedom to do what we do," said Carol Davis with the Task Force Marshall Navy IA Volunteers.
47 sailors in the Navy spent the month of November training at Ft. Jackson. Most of them are in the reserves.
"They put their civilian life on hold, to answer their nations call to go to war and that's what they are doing," said Captain Eric Jabs.
They are now being deployed to Afghanistan.
"These young men and women are doing so much for us so why shouldn't we let them know we care," said Davis.
More than 100 families came to say goodbye to their sailors. But these families aren't related to the men and women in uniform.
"They have already left their families but they came here to get combat training."
Carol Davis and others are a part of the Task Force Marshal Navy Volunteers.
"They might have gotten their hugs three weeks ago from their family but they need one before they get on the plane, so we become their family for an hour and a half while they are waiting for their plane to take off."
Most of these sailors aren't from the Palmetto state. The volunteers gave them Thanksgiving dinner and other items the day of their deployment, hoping to give them a sense of home before taking off.
"It's a good feeling and we have these people in South Carolina supporting us for our deployment and also I am sure they are praying for us," said Marco Sanluis.
This isn't Tyson Hill's first deployment, but this is the first time he's gotten a send off like this one.
"The folks that put this on have definitely stepped in to fill that family role. We got food, conversation and gifts on the way out the door and it's been fantastic," said Tyson Hill.
Now as these sailors leave for about a year they won't just have their immediate family praying for them but their extended family as well.
"You know where they are going and what danger they are going to be in. Like any parent or family member you are concerned so even though you are smiling and giving them that hug in the back part of your heart you are saying Lord take care of these men and women and bring them back to their families safely," said Davis.