Twelve National Guard soldiers are leaving their families in New Hampshire to support Operation Enduring Freedom in the Middle East.
On Wednesday, hundreds of people, including the state's congressional delegation, joined a ceremony to bid farewell to the soldiers.
"Thank you for preserving our freedom, and for standing up for our country," said Senator Kelly Ayotte.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Scot Yeanish is part of the 12-man aviation support unit called Detachment 18. He and his team are headed to Kuwait next month.
Yeanish has been deployed twice before, but he's now got two reasons this mission will be harder than the rest.
"Being away from this guy and my wife will be the toughest thing for me," Yeanish said as he held his three-year-old son, Luke.
After being married nine years, his wife, Samantha, says it's difficult to imagine spending almost a full year without her handyman, her fellow babysitter, and her best friend.
"If something were to happen to our son, or something happens around the house, not having the extra set of hands around, it's a scary thought that you're in charge of everything," Mrs. Yeanish said.
The aviators will be flying C-12s to transport military officials and cargo for missions throughout the Middle East, which could include efforts to take down ISIS militants.
"I am excited and looking forward to the experience," said Sgt. Jeremy Lestock. "It's being a part of something bigger than yourself."
The soldiers leave this week for a month of specialized training in Texas, then they'll spend nine months in one of the world's most dangerous places.
All while their families count down the days until their heroes come home.
"It takes a strong person to want to sacrifice being with their family to support our nation," Samantha Yeanish said. "I am very proud of him."
The 12 soldiers will join about 40 other New Hampshire National Guardsmen serving our country on missions throughout the world.