Tearful goodbyes as hundreds of troops deploy to Middle East - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Tearful goodbyes as hundreds of troops deploy to Middle East

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As the 67th Expeditionary Signal Battalion left Fort Gordon for Afghanistan, there was time for Irene Lias to give her husband one last kiss.

"It's really hard, we're going to be apart for 9 months, we haven't been apart for this long ever," said Lias.

Young Alyxis Musquera had time to read a goodbye letter to her dad.

"Dear dad, I love you we hope you're in great care, we love you with all our hearts," read Musquera.

Sallie Cayia is pregnant and she is due in May; but before her husband deployed she had time to make a memory she can hold on to.

"I can look back at it while he's gone and have a memory," said Cayia about filming the deployment ceremony on her phone.

Hundreds of soldiers and their family had time for one last goodbye, until tears blurred their eyes as fathers, mothers, sons and daughters marched off to war.

The soldiers will be stationed across the Middle East, where they will provide military communication support.

Lt. Col. Calonda Fortson promised to bring her troops home safe in nine months.

"I take responsibility for all 287 soldiers to include myself going over; keep them out of harm's way," LTC Fortson, said.  

Until the signal soldiers are back in the arms of loved ones, they will have their family's words of love and pride to treasure. 

"We're really proud of our mom," said Deja, Fortson's daughter.

"God be with you, we love you," said Musquera.

"I hope he comes home safe, all in one piece," said Lias. 

"I'm very proud; I'm the luckiest woman in the world," Cayia said about her husband, Captain Tom Cayia.

The signal battalion has two goals during their time in the Middle East. They plan to support strategic and tactical communications work in Afghanistan and their second goal is to return home safe.

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