Soldiers Say Goodbye to Loved Ones

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EUGENGE, Ore. — Families filled a conference room at the Hilton Friday night to say goodbye to their loved ones.

The 970th Transportation Detachment, a Eugene based U.S. Army Reserve unit made up of about 20 soldiers will leave for Afghanistan in less than 36 hours.

“We’ve got everything from brand new soldiers that just got out of basic less than a year ago to people that have been here for 14 years,” said Staff Sgt., David Keller.

“Excited for this, something I’ve been looking forward to ever since I heard I was going. And just plan on looking forward to it, it’s going to be something new it’s going to be an adventure,” said Pvt. Zachary Smith.

Beyond their training and their mission overseas as soldiers, they’re sons, daughters, husbands and wives.

“We have a year and a half old son and he’s at home right now. It’s going to be hard. Some days are easier than others,” said wife, Ashley Robertson.

“I’m just going to be there to be that rock that he’s going to need because it’s just as hard for him to be away as it for him to be away from me,” said girlfriend, Brianna Hill.

“The biggest part that makes me sad is him missing her anything that happens with her. I mean she just started giving kisses this week and you know it melts my heart but I’m going to be super sad when he’s not here for just the little things like that,” said wife, Cassandra Dorantes.

Though in a technological world soldiers and their loved ones say it’s making it much easier to stay in touch.

But even though the soldiers will be away from their families, they know they can lean on their unit for support.

“Your unit is all your have. So you got to get tight. I’ve been in for four years. It’s becoming easier and easier I guess to get comfortable or close with people that aren’t family,” said 1st Lt., Arlan Ellis.

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