ELYRIA -- A public sendoff Friday morning for nearly 100 soldiers who are headed to Afghanistan.
In a packed auditorium at Lorain County Community College, family, friends and members of the public gathered for a Call to Duty Ceremony.
They paid tribute to the soldiers of the Ohio Army National Guard's 837th Engineer Company.
The unit leaves Monday for training before eventual deployment to Afghanistan.
Family members proudly waved American flags, but following the ceremony found it hard to keep their spirits up.
"Definitely going to miss being together everyday, you know, watching movies and going to miss having someone to cook dinner for too," says Natalie Cisar, whose husband Justin will leave Monday.
Friday night, they will celebrate their daughter, Ava's, 3rd birthday. The soldiers who spoke with Channel 3 say they are ready for thier mission and prepared for over a year.
They admit the deployment is probably more difficult for the family members left behind.
The 837th Engineer Company will likely be deployed for a year.