A bittersweet Mother's Day for airmen departing for Middle East - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

A bittersweet Mother's Day for airmen departing for Middle East

Posted: Updated:
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Bear hugs, tearful cheeks and hands held tight described the not so typical Mother's Day for the estimated 100 airmen departing for Middle East Sunday.

They left from Trent Lott Air National Guard Training Center in Gulfport to serve our country in the Persian Gulf.

It's part of the 255th Air Control Suadron's six month mission. The squadron has been training for years for the mission.

For single mother of four Staff Sergeant Jessica Green, it wasn't the Mother's Day she had planned.

"It's not the present I wanted. But, if it's going away to defend my family and my country. I'll take it," said Green.

Like most mothers, Green remained strong for her family. But make no mistake, leaving behind the four parts of the heart wasn't easy.

"I'm going to tell them I'm going to be safe, don't worry about me and I'll be home in November for some turkey," said Green.

She wasn't alone. Hundreds gathered for the opening ceremony leading up to the squadron's departure.

"I love you, daddy," said young Brighton Raymond to his father.

"What I'm doing is really for them and without me going forward somebody has to," said Airman Jay Raymond.

"We've done this before. So, they know what to do, and they're in good hands back home," said Master Sergeant Dwayne Nowell. "Just make sure everything is taken care of and a lot of hugs."

"Our mission is essentially to protect the Arabian Gulf and this unit has been training for this for years," said Commander Berry McCormick.

He will be leading squadron 255 in the Middle East.

After the ceremony, everyone went to the hangar to share every last moment with their loved ones.

Hugs were given between mothers and sons. Kisses were shared between newly weds.

Dads held their children in their arms, knowing their kids' tiny features will be different in half of a year.

"It's what we're here to do. I joined the military to serve my country and it's what I'm here to do," said Staff Sergeant Christopher Hutchens.

It's a choice they made, but that doesn't mean they wanted to leave their family. Loading the plane, they understood it's a sacrifice they're willing to make.

"It's really quite amazing the level of dedication. The level of camaraderie that this young group has," said Commander McCormick.

The plane departed. Loved ones waved and blew kisses in the wind, knowing this was not goodbye. Rather, see you soon.

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Less crowds in second Spring Break weekend

    Less crowds in second Spring Break weekend

    Monday, April 21 2014 12:37 AM EDT2014-04-21 04:37:15 GMT
    If you were on Highway 90 Sunday, you may have noticed less traffic and fewer crowds on the beach. That's because the final weekend of Spring Break wrapped up Sunday. We talked to businesses and law enforcementMore >>
    If you were on Highway 90 Sunday, you may have noticed less traffic and fewer crowds on the beach. That's because the final weekend of Spring Break wrapped up Sunday. We talked to businesses and law enforcement to find out how it all went.More >>
  • Potential robber dies after getting stuck in oven vent

    Potential robber dies after getting stuck in oven vent

    Jefferson Parish Police responded to a 911 call at Greg's Food Mart on Westwood Drive after the owner came to work to find a man's legs dangling from an oven vent in the kitchen.More >>
    Jefferson Parish Police responded to a 911 call at Greg's Food Mart on Westwood Drive after the owner came to work to find a man's legs dangling from an oven vent in the kitchen.More >>
  • Gulfport man killed in I-10 rollover accident

    Gulfport man killed in I-10 rollover accident

    Monday, April 21 2014 6:53 AM EDT2014-04-21 10:53:08 GMT
    A Gulfport man who was thrown from his vehicle in a rollover accident Sunday night, died on the side of Interstate 10 as a result of his injuries. The accident happened near mile marker 36.More >>
    A Gulfport man who was thrown from his vehicle in a rollover accident Sunday night, died on the side of Interstate 10 as a result of his injuries. The accident happened just before 7pm near mile marker 36.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.