EASTOVER, S.C. — Soldiers with the South Carolina Army National Guard said goodbye to their families on Saturday before being deployed overseas.
At the McEntire Joint National Guard Base, families came together for a deployment ceremony.
U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jackie Gantt and the 751st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion with the South Carolina Army National Guard is headed overseas.
"Soldiers deserve this. Let's face it. In the past, in other wars and other deployments, soldiers didn't get the going away or the homecoming ceremony they should have got. That's what we try to do."
40 soldiers will be headed to the Middle East and be without their family for 11 months.
While overseas, soldiers will be supporting contracting work, dining facility and range operations, and many other important tasks.
U.S. Army Capt. Taurus Gardin is in charge of operations as they to the Middle East. He says you never know what to expect when going overseas.
“There's a lot of excitement and there's a lot of anxiety because you don't know what to anticipate. So there's an anxiety of not knowing what you're going to face,” said Gardin.
Soldiers won't see their loved ones faces until June of 2020.
U.S. Amry Capt. Eburrell Jermaine Sims will miss spending time with his family.
"I'm going to miss the family time,” explained Jermaine. “I know I'll be able to Skype in and video chat with them. Just the physical family time that we get to enjoy everyday, putting them to sleep, just seeing them every single day.”
His wife, Rhonda Sims, will be taking care of their three children while he’s overseas.
“We’re just praying for his safety and we’ll continue to hold home down while he’s gone,” said Rhonda.
U.S. Army Spc. Specialist Javari Scott says it hurts having to leave his family.
"That's the hardest part about this situation right now is letting him go for a while. Family is everything,” said Javari. “That's my support system. They're the ones I can always rely on whenever I need that crutch, whenever I need to get through or something. I can always look at them for a smile and can always count on family."
Renee Scott, Javari's mother, is proud to see her son serve the country.
"I'm trying to be strong but it's really hard,” said Renee. “He's still my big baby. He's going to make a way to say hey mom."
While Javari will be in the Middle East protecting the nation, his family knows that he's always there.
"I'm still there in spirit with them. No matter what. They can always rely on me or they can always think about something and think about the good that we have and the memories that we share."
The battalion plans on leaving the base around 7:30 on Sunday morning.