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      Bittersweet day for mid-Mo. National Guard families

      Families of 10 National Guardsmen came together at the Missouri National Guard armory to wish their loved ones well before they deployed to Afghanistan Saturday.

      The personnel are members of Detachment 40, Operational Support Airlift Command, Task Force Odin.

      Many members of the unit have deployed before. "This will be our third time, so they know what's going to happen at home, and have an even better idea of how to react to things.", said Staff Sergeant Craig Rennick.

      When they arrive in Afghanistan, the soldiers will assist in relaying intelligence from manned and unmanned aerial platforms, sensors, and communication data links to soldiers operating on the ground.

      Kaela Ryan says that although she is proud of her brother and the rest of Detachment 40 for serving their country, it doesn't make it any easier to see them go.

      "Some of the things I will miss the most will be the conversations on the phone, talking back and forth... the little odds and ends that he teaches my boys, whether or not I disapprove," Ryan said with a smile.

      Ryan's brother, Specialist Weston Holtmeyer, will return to mid-Missouri in July, with the rest of Detachment 40. The unit has previously deployed to Afghanistan and Kuwait. Some of their duties previously consisted of flying distinguished visitors and cargo throughout the entire Central Command area of responsibility.

      The deploying members of Detachment 40 are Major Matthew Styles, First Sergeant Jason Walling, Captain Johnathan Vilbert, Captain Dusty Rhodes, CW5 Robert Murrell, CW4 Robert Stacy, CW2 John Fouch, CW2 Matthew Sandbothe, Staff Sergeant Craig Rennick, and Specialist Weston Holtmeyer.