LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Saturday was an emotional day for hundreds of service members and their families as the soldiers prepared for their latest deployment.
The ceremony, held at March Air Reserve Base, gave loved ones a chance to say a final farewell the the 200 local soldiers deploying to the Middle East.READ MORE: Rep. Nunes To Retire And Work For Trump's New Social Media Company
“This farewell ceremony is primarily for the families to say goodbye to their loved ones as we go off and deploy in preparation to do our mission,” one service member said.
And while passing the time without a loved one is never easy, soldiers said being able to stay in touch helped them stay strong.
“Hopefully lots of letters,” one said. “Skyping, we can probably Skype.”READ MORE: Young Boy Dead, 2 Others Wounded In Wilmington Shooting
But through the tears and uncertainty, the pride from the families was clear.
“I am very proud of my dad,” one girl said. “It’s very hard to leave the country for nine months and then have to come back.”
The soldiers are scheduled to return in October or November of this year.MORE NEWS: Man Killed In Shooting In Unincorporated Part of Los Angeles
“We’re hoping he’ll be back safe,” another person said. “And we love him.”