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Deploying is never easy

Col. John Conoley, commander, 136th Airlift Wing gives encouraging words to the deploying Airmen  at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas, Feb. 26, 2013. Representatives from State legislative offices and Brig. Gen. Kenneth Wisian, Texas Asssistant Adjutant Genenral, Air, were present to send off the Airmen who will support the Air Expeditionary Forces in Southwest Asia from 60 to 180 days. (National Guard photos by Senior Master Sgt. Elizabeth Gilbert)

Col. John Conoley, commander, 136th Airlift Wing gives encouraging words to the deploying Airmen at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas, Feb. 26, 2013. Representatives from State legislative offices and Brig. Gen. Kenneth Wisian, Texas Asssistant Adjutant Genenral, Air, were present to send off the Airmen who will support the Air Expeditionary Forces in Southwest Asia from 60 to 180 days. (National Guard photos by Senior Master Sgt. Elizabeth Gilbert)

Senior Master Sgt. Shawn Bearden, First Sgt., 136th Airlift Wing and his daughter spend quality time together prior to his departure for Southwest Asia at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas, Feb. 26, 2013. The Airmen will support the Air Expeditionary Forces in Southwest Asia from 60 to 180 days. (National Guard photos by Senior Master Sgt. Elizabeth Gilbert)

Senior Master Sgt. Shawn Bearden, First Sgt., 136th Airlift Wing and his daughter spend quality time together prior to his departure for Southwest Asia at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas, Feb. 26, 2013. The Airmen will support the Air Expeditionary Forces in Southwest Asia from 60 to 180 days. (National Guard photos by Senior Master Sgt. Elizabeth Gilbert)

Airmen of the 136th Airlift Wing and their families bid farewell to each other prior to departing for Southwest Asia at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas, Feb. 26, 2013. The Airmen will support the Air Expeditionary Forces in Southwest Asia from 60 to 180 days. (National Guard photos by Senior Master Sgt. Elizabeth Gilbert)

Airmen of the 136th Airlift Wing and their families bid farewell to each other prior to departing for Southwest Asia at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas, Feb. 26, 2013. The Airmen will support the Air Expeditionary Forces in Southwest Asia from 60 to 180 days. (National Guard photos by Senior Master Sgt. Elizabeth Gilbert)

Saying goddbye is never easy as Airmen of the 136th Airlift Wing and their families gather together prior to departing for Southwest Asia at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas, Feb. 26, 2013. The Airmen will support the Air Expeditionary Forces in Southwest Asia from 60 to 180 days. (National Guard photos by Senior Master Sgt. Elizabeth Gilbert)

Saying goddbye is never easy as Airmen of the 136th Airlift Wing and their families gather together prior to departing for Southwest Asia at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas, Feb. 26, 2013. The Airmen will support the Air Expeditionary Forces in Southwest Asia from 60 to 180 days. (National Guard photos by Senior Master Sgt. Elizabeth Gilbert)

Texas State Legislative Representatives and Airmen of the 136th Airlift Wing salute the departing C-130 aircraft carrying the deploying Airmen to Southwest Asia at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas, Feb. 26, 2013. The Airmen will support the Air Expeditionary Forces in Southwest Asia from 60 to 180 days. (National Guard photos by Senior Master Sgt. Elizabeth Gilbert)

Texas State Legislative Representatives and Airmen of the 136th Airlift Wing salute the departing C-130 aircraft carrying the deploying Airmen to Southwest Asia at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas, Feb. 26, 2013. The Airmen will support the Air Expeditionary Forces in Southwest Asia from 60 to 180 days. (National Guard photos by Senior Master Sgt. Elizabeth Gilbert)

An aircrew member of the 136th Airlift Wing waves goodbye to the families gathered together prior to their departure for Southwest Asia on board the Wing's C-130 aircraft at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas, Feb. 26, 2013. The Airmen will support the Air Expeditionary Forces in Southwest Asia from 60 to 180 days.. (National Guard photos by Senior Master Sgt. Elizabeth Gilbert)

An aircrew member of the 136th Airlift Wing waves goodbye to the families gathered together prior to their departure for Southwest Asia on board the Wing's C-130 aircraft at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas, Feb. 26, 2013. The Airmen will support the Air Expeditionary Forces in Southwest Asia from 60 to 180 days.. (National Guard photos by Senior Master Sgt. Elizabeth Gilbert)

Friends and families wave good bye to the taxiing C-130 aircraft carrying their love ones on board for Southwest Asia at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas, Feb. 26, 2013. The Airmen will support the Air Expeditionary Forces in Southwest Asia from 60 to 180 days.. (National Guard photos by Senior Master Sgt. Elizabeth Gilbert)

Friends and families wave good bye to the taxiing C-130 aircraft carrying their love ones on board for Southwest Asia at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas, Feb. 26, 2013. The Airmen will support the Air Expeditionary Forces in Southwest Asia from 60 to 180 days.. (National Guard photos by Senior Master Sgt. Elizabeth Gilbert)

Friends and family of the 136th Airlift Wing wave at the C-130 aircraft as it flies by prior to departing for Southwest Asia at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas, Feb. 26, 2013. The Airmen will support the Air Expeditionary Forces in Southwest Asia from 60 to 180 days.. (National Guard photos by Senior Master Sgt. Elizabeth Gilbert)

Friends and family of the 136th Airlift Wing wave at the C-130 aircraft as it flies by prior to departing for Southwest Asia at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas, Feb. 26, 2013. The Airmen will support the Air Expeditionary Forces in Southwest Asia from 60 to 180 days.. (National Guard photos by Senior Master Sgt. Elizabeth Gilbert)

Despite the cold weather Airmen of the 136th Airlift Wing and their families gather together prior to departing for Southwest Asia at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas, Feb. 26, 2013. The Airmen will support the Air Expeditionary Forces in Southwest Asia from 60 to 180 days.. (National Guard photos by Airman Cody Witsaman/released)

Despite the cold weather Airmen of the 136th Airlift Wing and their families gather together prior to departing for Southwest Asia at NAS Fort Worth JRB, Texas, Feb. 26, 2013. The Airmen will support the Air Expeditionary Forces in Southwest Asia from 60 to 180 days.. (National Guard photos by Airman Cody Witsaman/released)

NAVAL AIR STATION FORT WORTH JOINT RESERVE BASE, Texas -- Approximately 70 members from the 136th Airlift Wing departed from here to Southwest Asia Feb. 26, 2013, in support of the Air and Space Expeditionary Forces.

"This [deployment] is where you really experience the brotherhood of the military," said Tech. Sgt. Shelly Jackson, 136th Maintenance Squadron. "This unit is a part of my family, even though I will be missing my son's and wife's birthday; I will be with my guard family."

Representatives from the offices of Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz were on hand to thank the Airmen for their self-sacrifices and answering the call of duty as citizen Guardsmen representing Texas.

"This is what I was trained to do, so I feel like I am fulfilling my obligation," said Jackson.

For many members and their families, deployment is all too familiar. More than half of the service members have deployed multiple times since '9-11'.

"You never get used to it," said Master Sgt. Ferrier, 136th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, whose wife is feeling anxious. "This is my fifth deployment."

Despite the cold weather, military and family members waited on the flight line for the Wing' s C-130 aircraft to take-off carrying their loved ones on board. As the plane taxied onto the runway, a line of Airmen saluted the aircraft and family members waving farewell; some with tears and others with sadness.

"We are just trying to be positive," said, Jennifer Hood wife Tech Sgt. Christopher Hood, 136th Maintenance Squadron. "He will be missing his daughter's birthday this Friday ... he is hoping to communicate with us while deployed."

There was a thankful tone amongst the civilians for the sacrifices of the deploying service members who will be separated from their families for the next 60 to 180 days.

"I am feeling sad, but ok because they are going to a safer location," said Gordon Sr., Father of Staff Sgt. Gordon King Jr., 136th Maintenance Squadron. "Thank all the deploying service members for us," as he waved good bye to the passisng C-130.