DENVER (CBS4) – The families of nearly 50 members of the Colorado National Guard said “see you later” to their loved ones on Wednesday at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum.
The troops are preparing for a year-long deployment to Afghanistan as part of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Based at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Detachment 1 is the guard’s heavy lift aviation unit operating the CH-47 Chinook helicopter.
For some members, this will be their sixth deployment overseas.
“The hardest part is probably just being away from your family. Having to do things, on a regular basis that you can’t tell your family about,” Lt. Ben Grisamore said.
Grisamore and his fellow soldiers will be gone for a total of 10 months. He hopes that even after the ceremony is over and everyone goes home, Coloradans will remember them and the sacrifices they make.
“There’s still good people going over and serving in this mission in this war. Don’t forget about us,” he told CBS4.
The unit deployed to Iraq in 2007-2008, Afghanistan in 2010-2011, and Kuwait in 2015. Colorado Air National Guard pilot U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 5 David Carter was killed in action during 2011 mission.