100317-M-9453M -- MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif - Marines and Sailors with 1st Marine Logistics Group said extended goodbyes to their loved ones as they boarded the bus here, March 17.
More than 150 service members left Camp Pendleton to join the fight in Afghanistan.
During the event, many farewells and words of encouragement were said between friends and loved ones. For some it was a reminder of who would wait their returns, for others it was a reminder of why they were going forward.
For those going forward, advice was given by the Combat Logistics Regiment 17 Family Readiness Officer, "While deployed, stay focused on the mission and never get complacent."
Before deploying, Marines and Sailors went through training for upcoming tasks but some may find it difficult to stay n the mindset knowing they are away from their families.
"It's really hard, I don't want to be away from my family but I know what my job entails," said Lance Cpl. Matthew Pena, embark, CLR-15, 1st MLG.
Like others it was Pena's first time saying goodbye to his family and loved ones as he goes forward and serves his country.
"I support his choice and hopefully they accomplish the mission they are set out to do," said Veronica Pena, mother of Marines. "I will miss him deeply."
As service members go forward, military families can prepare their families for when their loved ones return.
"To the family members and friends awaiting the return of their service members," said Cutis Winfree, family readiness officer, CLR-17, 1st MLG, "look for opportunities to serve here at home. Take advantage of the events and resources that are provided as a benefit of your service to our nation."
He added, our Marines and Sailors go forward as a team, our families remain behind as a team.