PHOENIX — Before leaving family and friends behind, four Arizona National Guardsmen were given an Army send-off ceremony ahead of deployment to the Middle East.
On Friday afternoon, four Arizona National Guard’s C-12 Fixed Wing Detachment were given a send-off ceremony. The crew will serve six months overseas conducting transportation missions.
"It’s hard to leave your family, but when you sign up, it’s what you decided to do," said CW-2 Tyler Sepp, who held his seven-week-old son, Colt, tightly after the ceremony. "He’s new to us, he’s our first child. We have that support and a new purpose so it’s going to be difficult to be away from that."
"He does everything for our family, and I just can’t wait for him to come home," said Valerie Sepp, Tyler Sepp's wife. "We have to make sure he can see this guy growing up because it’s already happening very fast."
Another aviator, Staff Sergeant Michelle Young said she's thinking of her nine-year-old daughter as she prepares for her second tour of duty.
"She tells me all the time that she’s proud of me. She tells me how much she loves me and in her eyes I'm a superhero," said Staff Sgt. Young. "I’m very proud of the military, I’m very proud of my country. I feel honored to be a part of something other than myself."
The ceremony is customary when sending off troops to the battlefield. The soldiers were sent off with words of encouragement from Arizona Major General Michael McGuire.
"Go out, make your neighbors proud, make your family proud. Thanks for your service, Godspeed on your trip."