Hugs, kisses and tears were just a sample of the emotions being felt at Fort Hood last night as more than 250 troops from the Third Corps prepared to leave for Baghdad.
"Sad, but I've got a strong faith and I'm very proud of him because he's a soldier's soldier. This is very important," said Ruth Thuemling, a soldier's mother.
"A little anxious. Everybody's feeling a little lonely right now," said Raymond Lacey, Battalion Commander, III.
"I'm nervous, but i'm proud of him. He's trained really hard. So he's really excited to do his job," said Denya Delgado, a soldier's wife.
These soldiers are just a part of the group that will replace peacekeeping troops in the Iraqi capital. After training in Kuwait they will continue the work of coordinating civil affairs, intelligence and communications for the peacekeeping effort. It's clear these soldiers and their families take great pride in the job they have ahead of them, and many hope at the end of the day they can say it was a job well done.