Ky. Air National Guard troops leave for Operation Freedom's Sent - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Ky. Air National Guard troops leave for Operation Freedom's Sentinel

Posted: Updated:
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Forty airmen being deployed to the Persian Gulf said goodbye to their families Friday morning at the Kentucky Air National Guard.

There were hugs and tearful goodbyes Friday morning at the Kentucky Air National Guard -- but for this group of airmen, this isn't anything new.

"This is the sixth deployment this unit has had over the past 12 years," said Major General Ed Tonini.

Forty airmen with the 123rd Airlift Wing are on their way to the Persian Gulf, but before they left, there was a sendoff ceremony with the assistant Board of Elections director and the Kentucky Adjutant General.

"They have more expertise -- virtually -- than anybody in the United States Airforce," Tonini said.

They'll be deployed to an undisclosed location in the Persian Gulf, assisting counterterrorism operations in the region.

Accessories Element Leader Robert Crump knows the sacrifice well. He has been deployed over 30 times.

"I believe that we are here to support our missions, and that's what I do," Crump said. "It has been hard on my family times. I've missed them a lot. I've missed birthdays and Christmasses. They've sacrificed as much as I have."

He'll miss his wife, his two daughters, and the littlest member of his family: his granddaughter, Evelyn Blair.

"She's just the light of my life," he said.

And four ladies in his family understand Crump's mission also means a sacrifice.

"He'll miss my graduation, May 8, from college," said Victoria Crump, his daughter. "There have been a lot of holidays, birthdays that we've had to miss out on. But we're proud of him. He's our hero, love him dearly. We're proud of what he does."

Now the wait -- and the countdown -- until this summer, when the C-130s head back to Kentucky and he can head home to be with his girls.

Copyright 2015 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WDRB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.