More than 100 soldiers of the 48th Infantry Brigade said goodbye to their families and Macon home-base on Monday.
The Georgia National Guard unit has been training for more than a month.
Soldiers got to spend Thanksgiving with their families, but will soon head back to training camp at Fort Stewart near Savannah before deploying to Afghanistan in January.
Rolinda McKnight calls her husband, Lieutenant Captain Jim McKnight, her hero.
The couple says saying goodbye is always hard.
“My wife’s sacrifice is greater than mine. She’ll be at home with the kids for nine months without me,” said Jim.
The couple have four daughters and a newborn son.
“It's a really good opportunity to teach our children about selfless service and what it's like to be an American and serve,” said Jim.
Jim's family still plans on seeing him at Christmas before his unit deploys in January, but the family says prayers anyway, looking to their faith to give them strength.
Nicole Capaccio and her husband, Michael, just got married in September.
They spent their first Thanksgiving together as a married couple in Orlando with their dogs Coco Puff and Ziggy.
“He's my everything. He's there for every single thing, big or small,” said Capaccio
Nicole says she'll support her husband, but he won't hear her say 'goodbye.'
“I really don't like that word 'goodbye' because it's almost a final word, and that's not what's going to happen,” said Nicole.
The families took plenty of photos during their time together.
Those same photos will keep both Jim and Michael going while they spend up to a year overseas.
Master Sergeant Gerard Brown says they will be having a sendoff from Fort Stewart, near Savannah Georgia on December 21.
Brown says most of the soldiers will be able to go home and spend Christmas with their families before they deploy in January.
He says their mission could take anywhere from nine months to a year.