Sebring, Florida - A tearful and bittersweet goodbye took place Thursday in Sebring for servicemen and women on their way to Qatar.
A group of 325 Members of Florida's National Guard from the 116th field artillery unit who hugged and kissed family members and friends goodbye.
Photos: See photos of those brave men and women here
The deployment will be nine months guarding military compounds in Qatar.
Hundreds gathered to say goodbye to the men and women who stood proudly in formation before their farewells.
The reactions ranged from proud hugs to tears. In the end, families said their prayers and are hoping for many safe returns.
One mother of a young woman, who was going on her first deployment, put it best.
"I love her. She'll be back. She'll come home to me."
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