VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - Approximately 60 soldiers from the 11th Transportation Battalion based at Fort Story left this morning for a nine-month deployment in Afghanistan.
The men and women of the 276 are headed to a hostile and dangerous place. However, Battalion Commander, Colonel John Broomhead offered the first salute to the loved ones they leave behind.
"Our immediate families feel the burden of deployments as much as all of us who go into harm's way," Broomhead said.
Army wife Pamela Roth will be caring for two daughters, one just three-months-old, while her husband is in Afghanistan.
"Gonna be alone again, yeah," Roth told WAVY.com. "In a place where we don't have a lot of friends or family. "
Pamela's husband is the Executive Officer of the 276. Lt. Adrian Roth has been home less than a year since his last assignment.
"It's been a rough transition," he said. "I just returned from Korea last July so I've actually been on US soil about 11 months right now."
The sacrifices these military families endure are motivated by more than patriotism, there is a desire to help others a world away.
"I want everyone else in the world to have freedom the same way we do here in the United States," Spec. Emanuel Ortez added.
But Afghanistan is a long way from the United States, and for some of these soldiers, this will be their first combat tour.
"Just nervous and scared but I just hope for the best," Spec. Cantrell Jones-Moore told WAVY.com.
She and her fellow soldiers will not leave unprepared for this mission.
"Soldiers train for war but pray for peace," Broomhead added. "However when their nation calls not one of us wants to be left out."
Unfortunately, answering the call means leaving someone behind.
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