CAMP LEJEUNE, ONSLOW COUNTY- - The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit deployed today.
They're heading to Norfolk before heading out on the Atlantic Ocean.
Colonel Matthew St. Clair, the 26th MEU's Commanding Officer said, "They have trained exceptionally hard. They are ready to do whatever mission they're asked to perform and I couldn't be prouder of these marines and sailors."
For some of the Marines, it was their first deployment. Others have been deployed nine times. No matter how many times they've left, their families never get used to saying goodbye.
"You can never really be prepared when they're leaving," said Kasi Lorusso, whose husband is leaving for the third time. Colonel St. Clair added, "No matter how many times you do this, and this is my ninth deployment, it's still a very difficult day."
Tom and Debbie McFadden said of their son, "We love him and we'll see him soon. Be safe." It is his first deployment.
"Hoorah, Semper Fi," said Susan Griffith, "and take care and God bless all of them." She's seen off her husband and two sons, for a total of six times.
After sailing into the ocean, they'll head to the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal before arriving at central command. There, they'll wait to respond to anyone or any place that needs help.