Families Send Off National Guard Troops To Afghanistan

Reported by: Aaron Adelson
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Updated: 2/02/2013 7:26 pm
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AAdelsonABC36

A big crowd helped send off Kentucky National Guard troops.  About 150 soldiers are going to wrap up Operation Enduring Freedom.

Specialist Alex Mesalam says he's ready to start his mission, but it's a bittersweet goodbye for his family.

"There's so much pride in what he's doing for us, and just kind of really emotionally sad that he's going to be leaving us for so long," said Sabrina Mesalam, Alex's Stepmom.

Mesalam won't be back until around Christmas, which means a long time away from his girlfriend.

"It's going to be very hard, because we're with each other every single day, and he truly is my best friend.  So, it's going to be very very emotional to watch him leave," said Whitney Underwood, Alex's Girlfriend.

Congressman Andy Barr helped send the troops off.

"Best wishes, and Godspeed," said Barr.

Many family members came to show Mesalam love.

"Support is the main thing.  If you've got a good support chain, you'll be good to go.  Makes me feel a lot less nervous to leave, because I know that my family's here, and they're supporting each other," said Mesalam.

Before he helps complete Operation Enduring Freedom, he made an enduring memory.

"I love you very much, and I can't wait for you to come home," said Underwood.

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