As 125 Michigan service members prepare to deploy to Afghanistan their loved ones also brace for goodbye and the year ahead.
5-year-old Alanis Povey draws a family portrait knowing all too soon her dad will not be as close as the picture suggests.
"Daddy is going away for a long long long time," she said.
Staff Sergeant Travis Povey is one of 125 service members with the 1460th Transportation Company deploying this weekend.
His wife, Jessica, 5-year-old Alanis, 3-year-old CJ, 18-month old Vada and 3-month-old Dominic prepare to send off their husband and father.
"For me it's just going for a year without having my best friend here," said wife, Jessica.
It marks the second deployment for the couple but the first time the kids have had to say goodbye.
"The loneliness of not having him here. Hopefully he'll be able to contact the kids here and there so they don't miss daddy too much," said Jessica.
The families will attend a deployment ceremony Saturday at Midland High School at 2p.m.
The unit deploys early Sunday morning first stopping in Texas for training.