Omaha (KPTM)- Today is about celebration, honoring those chosen few from the Nebraska Army National Guard's 43rd Detachment to Afghanistan.
"I'm honored to go on this," said Brandon Hill of his first deployment.
For some, this is their first time going on a mission.
"There's a lot of excitement around it, a little apprehension. Most of the apprehension comes with leaving the family making sure they're ok but the mission we're ready for it, we're ready to go do it," said Hill.
Their commander says their diverse backgrounds make them strong.
"They were all kind of hand selected for this, for their skills and abilities, the background they bring. We have a. Pilots black hawk pilots, airline pilots, who bring a lot to the table, so it's a good group," said Commander Gene Coppersmith.
But nine months away isn't exactly ideal for the families.
"It's positive because we know he's going for a good reason. It is hard, but we have a lot support from the community and a lot of support from the army in general and friends and family," said Hill's wife, Vanessa Hill.
With father's day on Sunday, families say it's even harder to part with their loved ones. But it's a day they've been planning for, for months. They have their authentic army dolls to remember them by
They know I love them, I'm going to miss them and I'm going to be thinking about them," said pilot Hill.
For the soldier's, the emotional toll will be hard, but they say family is what motivates them every day.
"Coming home, coming home. That's the biggest thing, to get out there and start the countdown so I can get back to my family," said Hill.
One thing's for sure, a big welcome home and some much needed vacation time is what each family looks forward to upon their return.
"There's a couple vacation spots that my wife has mentioned that she needs to go to and I really want to go with her," said Coppersmith.
"We are probably going to be planning a trip just to get away for a little while as a family just to welcome dad home and get used to him being back around," said Hill, of her husbands return home.
The troops from the 43rd Detachment will be home in March.
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