Families say goodbye as Air National Guard deploys

By Mellany Armstrong 2:34pm, February 26, 2013
Families say goodbye to members of the Delaware Air National Guard as they deploy to Southwest Asia. WDEL's Mellany Armstrong reports.

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Lisa Franklin of Dover brushed away tears as she and her children waved at the C-130 flying overhead, carrying her husband, Tech Sgt. Sean Franklin.

"Before, it was email and all, and everything, and some phone calls. Now we're going to do Facetime. That will help. We're going to do that on our iPads," Franklin said.

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Brigadier General Carol Timmons says some brand-new airmen are on the four-month deployment.

"It's their first time, their families are struggling a little bit, so it's definitely mixed emotions, but very proud and I have absolute faith in every one of them," she said.

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Effie Jenkins-Smith of Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, says it's the first deployment for her son, 26-year-old Airman Kyle Smith.

"He's been a military baby all his life, because I was in the military for 23 years in the guard, so now he's kinda following his mom's footsteps, so it's really special to me," she said.

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Jenkins-Smith says she expects to Skype with her son.

"But I have to wait for him to contact me, and I've already threatened him: Do it soon," she said.

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Thirty-four airmen will serve with fellow guardsmen from Texas. More airmen deploy Thursday.

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