Hugs and tears Monday at a farewell ceremony for more than 150 National Guard members who left, preparing to spend the next year in Iraq.
The soldiers are from all across Kentucky, based out of Carlisle in Nicholas County. They're now headed to training before arriving in Iraq to provide security.
The 170 citizen soldiers of Battery B, 2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery said goodbye to family and friends Monday.
The unit's Commander, Captain Robert Mattingly, says his unit has been preparing for deployment for a long time, but of course the one thing he can't prepare families for is the inevitable separation anxiety.
"It's bound to be there, but it's what we do. Everybody knows the mission of the Army is to fight and win wars so we fight where we're told and win where we fight," he said.
This departure comes on the heels of 14 more U.S. Soldiers being killed in Iraq in the last three days.
The unit's next stop will be Camp Shelby, Mississippi where they'll undergo more training before assuming convoy security duties in Iraq.