With flags in hand, family and friends packed into the Hartford Armory for an emotional farewell to two National Guard units.
Two-hundred twenty-five soldiers from the 118th Multifunctional Medical Battalion and the 1st Battalion 169th Aviation Regiment are being deployed to Southeast Asia.
"I'm proud of him, but at the same time you don't want him to go," said Gina Cekala of Enfield.
"It's mixed emotions. You're proud of everybody and you want to sit there and be like 'yay rah rah', but on the other hand you're like shoot, it's only a couple more days, a couple more weeks," said Melissa Ramsey of Groton.
The units will be deployed for 12 to 15 months, a period of time that will be difficult for everyone.
"It's hard to leave family. I have two little children, the rest of my family lives in Pennsylvania. I live in Connecticut so I get to see them a lot," said Sgt. Amelia White.
"The hardest part for me is obviously to be leaving the kids. A lot goes through, it's hard to put into words," said Staff Sgt. Mark Cekala.
Even though their loved one will be half a world away, some families have already found ways to stay connected.
"Just bought her a computer, I have my laptop. We have a webcam, tried to practice last night, tried to get him used to seeing me on the computer," said Staff Sgt. Cekala.
"We're going to use the internet. We're also setting up a webcam so we can talk to each other. We're hoping to play Candy Land or Connect Four just games online that way too, so I may not be there, but I'll be there," said Staff Sgt. Shawn Ramsey.