GILBERT, AZ - A packed high school football stadium in Gilbert was the spot for a bitter sweet Easter Sunday goodbye.
172 soldiers from the 56th Military Police Company are setting off on a new mission to Afghanistan to protect and train that country's police force. But first, it was time to say goodbye.
"It's hard because you hear that we are supposed to be bringing back our soldiers", said Ariana Caballero whose brother Carlos is with the group. "You never think it will happen to your family."
The crowd was full of families feeling the same way.
The soldiers can't say much about their mission and don't know when they will be home.
For some, it is their first deployment, for others it is their fourth. Either way, it's never easy.
"I've been in the Army for 18 years and there is no group I would rather deploy with," said Lt. Justin Renaud.
The soldiers leave behind family, friends and employers, but they know when they are called they must go.
"These ceremonies are for the families," said Cpl. Carlos Caballero. "We are ready to go down range."