A bittersweet farewell as 100 local soldiers prepare for deployment overseas

MARYSVILLE, Wash. -- About 100 Army Reserve soldiers from Marysville will soon say goodbye to their loves ones ahead of a deployment to Kuwait.

Cake, drinks, and balloons. It looks like a party. But it's a bittersweet send-off ceremony for the 477th Transportation Company.

"Last night it kind of really hit me when I got home and she had all her stuff packed and I said, oh OK, I guess this is actually happening," Benjamin Tsuffis said of his mother.

A deployment to Kuwait will separate these Army Reservists and their families for several months.

Tsuffis said he's surely miss his mother.

"She's a strong woman. I know that she'll make it back and everything will be OK."

It's that optimism that's holding the Saenz family together.

"I have a husband in the service, my son is in the service. I couldn't be more proud."

Marine Lance Cpl. Austin Garza followed in the footsteps of his Army stepfather, Staff Sgt. Saenz.

But some who are leaving and others who are heartbroken don't really remember the moment when everything changed for the world -- September 11, 2001.

"I remember seeing one of the planes in the buildings and then being put into the car in the car seat or booster seat and going to school that day," Tsuffis said.

That memory from the first grade is partly why Tsuffis won't be seeing his mother anytime soon.

"I don't remember it then, but that's actually what made me join the military as well," Garza said.

But he does remember missing his stepdad when he deployed in 2008.

What these families want is simple -- support and appreciation from their fellow Americans.

"Be the kind of American my husband wants to go to war for."