Army reserves deploy from San Jose

February 12, 2010 7:05:04 PM PST
A supply and support unit heading to Iraq said goodbye to their families on Friday in San Jose. They will be gone for a year and had an emotional send-off to war.

Deployment ceremonies include the presentation of colors, a wave of appreciation by the mayor, and emotions that cannot hide behind the call of duty.

"I don't want him to leave," says Nolan Salas.

Nolan's dad is Col. Ron Salas who will be in command of 78 Army reservists in Iraq including Private First Class Mauricio Quintanilla. Quintanilla is leaving behind his wife and a son born on New Year's Day.

"He's going to miss those critical points: first crawl, first solid foods, and he might miss his first steps," says Danielle Quintanilla, Mauricio's wife.

Send off events like this remind us that for every one person deployed overseas, there is an entire family serving their country.

The first time staff Sgt. Richard Mobley deployed to Iraq, he had three children, this time his absence will be felt by a second generation --his grandson.

"It's going to be a little different because I have my son now, that he has to leave as well," says Desiree Stiles, Mobley's daughter.

There is also staff Sgt. Mobley's bride who has been his wife just six days. Everyone is letting someone go, but not before the hugs are tight and the reasons are very clear.

"She's at that point where she knows mommy is going to be doing something good for the country," says Amy reservist Capt. Deciray Huq.

Deployment ceremonies are a snapshot of that commitment to both family and country. The pride is matched only by tears and often unspoken fears.

"Him not coming home safely and it's going to be a hard year," says Nicol Salas, a daughter of a reservist.

For many the tour will not be measured in days but milestones missed.

"I don't want to miss a moment and I feel I am going to miss too much and I just hope can make it up to him when I come back," says Mauricio.

Even for those who may be too young to understand, the number of people serving in the military is greater than the number of soldiers deployed.