Valley families say goodbye to their loved ones headed for Afghanistan

PHOENIX - A bittersweet day for Valley families as they sent off their loved ones for a 6-month deployment to Afghanistan.

12 members of the 161st Air Refueling Wing Security Forces gathered at Sky Harbor Airport Saturday to say their last goodbyes to family and friends.

For 11-year-old Sean Davis, watching his dad leave never gets easy.

"He's been very supportive, he's been great. He's my rock back here too and he becomes the man of the house while I'm gone," said Master Sgt. Davis of his son Sean.

Saturday's deployment marks the fourth time Sgt. Davis has been sent overseas, and he's hoping it will be his last.

"I'm retiring a short time after I get back," said Sgt. Davis.

To honor his retiring, Sgt. Davis gave an American flag he's carried in his pocket through multiple deployments to a fellow guardsman. He's hoping the gift will help carry future men and women through the hardest of times.

"Always carry it in your right pocket and don't mess it up," Sgt Davis joked.

The guard men and women are expected back home in Arizona by Christmas.

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