SALT LAKE CITY — After more than a decade at war, U.S. military deployment ceremonies have become common.
Many have become used to seeing the anticipation in the eyes of soldiers, and the tears in the eyes of their spouses.
One such ceremony was held at Fort Douglas in Salt Lake City Saturday morning, as 25 soldiers prepared to say goodbye before leaving for Afghanistan.
"This is something I've wanted to do since I was younger," said Specialist Tamar Haggerty.
However, unlike other military units heading to Afghanistan we're used to seeing, this particular unit specializes in numbers and money instead of bombs and bullets.
They are the Army's 395th Financial Management Company. Their mission is to make sure soldiers get properly paid and thousands of pieces of equipment and U.S. military property are accounted for.
It makes doing your own taxes seem small.
"The finance soldiers are typically some of the highest educated soldiers in the Army," said Battalion Commander Jon Hewitt.
They're not only highly educated, but many of the soldiers leaving are also very successful in civilian life. Some have six figure salary jobs as stock brokers, accountants, and financial advisors. But, as Army reservists, they're putting all of that on hold to serve their country.
"It'll be scary, fun, a little bit of everything, but I know I'm with a good group who will watch each other and it'll be a successful mission," said Private Scott Crapo.
Soldiers said the hardest part is leaving their families behind.
"For me, it might be a little bit harder after you have left and you start to realize all the things you are missing from home," said Sgt. Tyler Lindsay.
For Lindsay and his wife Thui-tien, it's their 3rd deployment.
"When you talk to your spouse on the phone, or try to reconnect with each other, try not to bring up so much of the bad stuff," Mrs. Lindsay said, "Try to reconnect and bring up those positive feelings instead of the negative feelings."
Just because these soldiers work with numbers doesn't mean they're completely safe.
"They do face all the same dangers as all the soldiers," Hewitt said, "like rockets, mortars, things like that."
"No, I'm not really scared," Sgt. Fordyce said. "I think of my family a lot. There's nothing you can't do if you got your family behind you."
The unit will spend some time at a military base in New Jersey for additional training before heading to Afghanistan for nine months.