Hundreds of sailors are leaving for yet another mission.
Families share one last hug with teary eyes, as their sailors climb aboard USS Fort McHenry.
“I feel so sad. My husband is leaving. We have a son. My baby is going to school on Monday. I just wish he were here so we could take him together.”
Even after 10 overseas deployments for Commander Ray Hartman, it never gets any easier.
“Me and my wife have a tradition. She usually will drive me up to the pier and very quickly we will say our goodbyes, it`s a lot less painful.”
This morning, a couple hundred sailors left for a five month deployment along the way to the eastern Atlantic, Mediterranean and Black Seas. They will pick up 170 marines.
When they get to Europe, they will train with France, Ireland, and Romania on their security cooperation. Then, they will continue south to Central Africa and train with the African Navy.
“Everything that we`ve done whether it’s learning how to do boardings at sea, or combat fires on our own ship, protection of our ship for combat. That`s what the crew has been training for, and they`re ready, and I’m very confident in their abilities.”
And as the ship sails away, families begin counting down the days to their sailor’s return.
“I’m still praying that God will bring them back safely.”