MOON TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Nearly 100 members of the 911th Airlift wing were deployed this morning, but not before having one final moment with their families.
Thursday marked yet another deployment of Air Force Reservists headed to points in the Middle East.
The Reservists have been through the process many times but it never gets any easier.
The scene was familiar — a pallet stacked and packed with gear stuffed inside a large 911th C-130.
“This will be my third time to the Middle East and my tenth time over all,” Lieutenant Colonel Chuck Sargent says.
Veteran pilot Lt. Col. Chuck Sargent was at the controls of the C-130 that would lift an estimated 100 reserve personnel anywhere from the horn of Africa to Kuwait, Qatar, or Afghanistan.
“Just another day on the job, different location,” Captain David W. Kunca of Canonsburg says.
Heading off to this type of work takes on an entirely different and difficult meaning especially when it comes to saying goodbye.
“Going away never gets easier. You kind of get a check list developed after you’ve been through it a few times. You know what needs to be done making sure the family needs to be taken care of,” Senior Master Sergeant Bob Potts says.
“It’s nice to have them here to see them for the final time and everyone’s very supportive. It will be quick. Say goodbye to the Fiancé and its off to the airplane,” Captain Bill Fedorka says.
Before you knew it, the Colonel and the Captain had the C-130 lumbered away for a final state side salute and wave goodbye.
“It’s not too long before you start counting down the days to get home,” Fedorka says. “Just hang in there. We’ll be home before you know it.”
With visions and promises of the homecoming already in their heads, deployments from this unit will continue until September 11th. It is estimated they’ll be overseas anywhere from four to six months.