FORT LEE, Va. -- Nearly four dozen soldiers from Fort Lee said goodbye to family and friends Monday, before leaving on a six month deployment, just days before Christmas.
There were hugs and tears all around as soldiers in the Army's 111th Quartermaster Company said their goodbye's at a deployment ceremony Monday morning at Fort Lee.
"For me it's bittersweet. I'm kind of sad I'm leaving my family, my kids, my wife, I love them, but I feel that it's a good thing that we're doing," said Specialist Adrian Council.
The 44 soldiers are going Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kuwait for six months to help bring back fallen soldiers. "We take pride and satisfaction of the soldiers getting back home to their families safely as far as everybody needs that closure," said Council.
Private Second Class Darius Denson-Holmes added, "you see all of our fallen soldiers, we have to treat them with care, and dignity, and respect."
Denson-Holmes parents proudly wore shirts their son had made for them at the deployment ceremony and said the toughest part about today is knowing they won't get to spend the holidays with Darius as he leaves for his first deployment.
"That makes it hard. We are going to hang in there, we are going to keep praying and we are going to be alright," said Darius' mother, C’Ella Denson-Holmes. "It hurts sometimes that he's away from us, but he's supporting our country," said Darius' father, Arthur Denson.
The 111th Quartermaster Company is one of the Army's only two active duty mortuary affairs units.