Seven aviators deployed to the Middle East

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Seven Kentucky Army National Guardsmen are headed to the Middle East.

A farewell ceremony was held for them at the Boone National Guard Center in Frankfort on Friday.

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Families and friends gathered to support their loved ones as they set out on their fourth mission since 2001. Their previous deployments were to Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait.

They took flight on C-12 aircrafts and will land first in Texas, where they will board a different plane and fly overseas.

The C-12s are the same planes that they will fly while in the Middle East.

Their deployment will last for one year.

Brigade Commander Colonel Dwane Lewis says even though their job is tough, and it is hard to be away from the U-S for so long, he knows their job is important.

“What we do, everything we do is for the war fight,” said Col. Lewis. “A lot of the guys, what they do, they do it for their families so they’ll be safe back home.”

Guardsmen say even though a year sounds like a long time to be away from loved ones, the year will fly by.

“Godspeed on your journey as you start it today,” said Leiutenant Colonel Mike Armstrong. “That clock starts and you’ll be back here to your families before you know it. You’ll be busy with your mission and we’ll see you when you get back.”

For those at the ceremony to see the men off, this wasn’t ‘goodbye.’ Instead, it was simply ‘see you later.’