Soldier Send Off

Hundreds of Nebraska Army National Guard soldiers are on their way to Afghanistan.

Today they said goodbye to their family and friends at Haymarket park as they head off to support operation enduring freedom.

Elizabeth Cruickshank knew today would come.

“Everyday everyday I'll be thinking of my son,”Cruickshank said.

Her son, Private First Class Nicholaus Cruikshank.

“It's pretty hard I don't think its quite hit yet it'll hit probably sometime when I get on the plane or when we finally get on the busses to head over to the airport,” Nicholoaus said.

Cruickshank is one of the 300 soldiers headed to Afghanistan as part of the first of the 134th Cavalry Squadron.

Today they all gave their final hugs and kisses to friends and family before kicking off their mission.

Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Rynders is their commander.

 “It is very exciting to the soldiers especially those who have joined since 9/11 and know in all likelihood they will be deployed and now comes that day for those of us who have deployed before it's a chance to serve our country that we love to do,” Rynders.

That service will begin with three months of additional training in Mississippi and California.

Then they'll head to Kabul where they'll mentor and train the Afghan national security forces.

This will be the cavalry's first tour in Afghanistan and the first time, Cynthia Bretey's husband Shane has been deployed since they've been married.

 “Well I signed up for it when I said I do so I cant really complain much about it I'm scared but I know they're training but they're gonna come home safely,”Bretey said.

That's exactly what several local and state leaders asked for at the farewell ceremony.

It's also exactly why Meghan Volkman is confident in her husband and everyone's safe return.

“I trust the guys he's going with they've trained for this,” Volkman said.