They held babies, hugged spouses and assured parents they'll be all right.
The military deployment clock is winding down for 85 Marine Corps reservists in Gulfport.
They're heading out this weekend for two weeks of training at Camp Pendleton. After that, it's active duty in Southwest Asia.
The reservists and their families attended a special farewell luncheon at the Seabee base Tuesday.
Josh Clements hugged his wide eyed pride and joy. Ten month old Austin probably doesn't understand what the fuss is all about. A roomful of families, about to experience the sadness of separation.
"I'm just going to try my hardest. We're all going to try our hardest to get things done that we need to do. And get back to my family," said Clements.
We found a 20 year old from Long Beach getting some sound advice from his dad.
"Keep my head up and stay safe, you know," said Justin Rishel.
That's good advice for whatever the mission. Fear of the unknown is a nagging concern for many in the military these days.
"I know we've got to go do what we've got to do. But it's hard leaving everybody. Taking a year out of your life to go do something, you're not really sure what you're going to be doing," said Rishel.
His dad, Glenn Rishel, is proud of his boy.
"He's going to live up to his duty. Do what he said he'd do. I'm very proud of him. He's my boy. I love him and I'm going to miss him," the father said.
The Secondine family from Picayune will be missing three boys. Two of the brothers are in this reserve unit.
"It actually started with my grandfather. My mother's father. He's a Korean War vet. And then it went from her brothers down to us. Now myself and my two brothers are now Marines. We're reservists and my older brother is active duty," Jesse Secondine explained.
Shania Bullock and her daddy are the stuff Kodak moments are made of. Terrence Bullock will serve his country, but stay focused on his family and the picture of a happy homecoming with his wife and two year old.
"We hate to leave, I hate to leave my family. But to serve your country, it's something you have to do," said Bullock.