STEAD, NV -- Flying an American flag from the bottom of a Chinook helicopter, members of Nevada's Army Guard lifted off Tuesday. They are embarking on the first phase of their deployment to Afghanistan.
"I love you and thank you so much for being there for me," Kyla Morris said to her father, Sgt. Michael Rollins. Rollins is among roughly 60 members of the Nevada Army Guard deploying to Afghanistan.
The 1/189th General Support Aviation Battalion will move cargo and people around in Afghanistan for ten months. However, the unit will complete final training in Texas before going to Afghanistan.
The mission is Adam Seelye's third deployment to Afghanistan. "This is what we do, and (my wife) is the best person in the world to be able to put up with it," the door-gunner said.
A crowd gathered as six Chinook helicopters, carrying Nevada Guard members, lined up for liftoff. Family and friends waived to the soldiers, as cold wind blew wet snow at on-lookers.
"I'm going to miss spending time with (my dad) and him being around," Morris said as tears streamed down her face.
The last time this unit was deployed, five people were lost. The tragedy happened when a helicopter, using the name: "Mustang 22," was shot down over Afghanistan. Two of those killed were members of the Nevada Guard.
"We're professionals at what we, do we made name for ourselves last time, and we'll make a name for ourselves again," Rollins said.
A memorial stands at the Nevada Guard's Stead facility for those lost.
Twenty more members of the unit will leave for training tomorrow.