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Flying Yankees Sent Off in Style

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy poses with Capt. Andrew Nemeth, Maj. Gen. Thaddeus Martin, Master Sgt. Daniel Judd and State Command Chief Master Sgt. John Carter in the main hangar at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. July 6, 2011. The Connecticut state flag was presented to Capt. Nemeth, who will command the deployed security forces troops, following a formal Send Off Ceremony held in honor of members of the 103rd Security Forces and 103rd Civil Engineer Squadrons who have since deployed to Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Army 2nd Lt. Emily Hein)

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy poses with Capt. Andrew Nemeth, Maj. Gen. Thaddeus Martin, Master Sgt. Daniel Judd and State Command Chief Master Sgt. John Carter in the main hangar at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. July 6, 2011. The Connecticut state flag was presented to Capt. Nemeth, who will command the deployed security forces troops, following a formal Send Off Ceremony held in honor of members of the 103rd Security Forces and 103rd Civil Engineer Squadrons who have since deployed to Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Army 2nd Lt. Emily Hein)

Members of the 103rd Security Forces and Civil Engineer Squadrons, 103rd Airlift Wing, are assembled in formation during a formal Send Off Ceremony July 6, 2011, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. Approximately 80 Connecticut Air National Guardsmen with the 103rd Airlift Wing have since deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Army 2nd Lt. Emily Hein)

Members of the 103rd Security Forces and Civil Engineer Squadrons, 103rd Airlift Wing, are assembled in formation during a formal Send Off Ceremony July 6, 2011, at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. Approximately 80 Connecticut Air National Guardsmen with the 103rd Airlift Wing have since deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Army 2nd Lt. Emily Hein)

Airman from the 103rd Civil Engineer and 103rd Security Forces Squadrons, 103rd Airlift Wing, stand at ease as Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy addresses them during a formal Send-Off Ceremony, wishing them a safe trip and safe return. The ceremony was held in the main hangar at Bradley Air National Guard Base July 6, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo by Army 2nd  Lt. Emily Hein)

Airman from the 103rd Civil Engineer and 103rd Security Forces Squadrons, 103rd Airlift Wing, stand at ease as Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy addresses them during a formal Send-Off Ceremony, wishing them a safe trip and safe return. The ceremony was held in the main hangar at Bradley Air National Guard Base July 6, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo by Army 2nd Lt. Emily Hein)

Lt. Col. James Works (front right), commander of the 103rd Civil Engineer Squadron and Capt. Andrew Nemeth (far left front), who will command the  deployed 103rd Security Forces Squadron, stand at ease as their respective units stand behind them during a Send-Off Ceremony at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. July 6, 2011. The two commanders will lead their troops in overseas contingency operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Army 2nd  Lt. Emily Hein)

Lt. Col. James Works (front right), commander of the 103rd Civil Engineer Squadron and Capt. Andrew Nemeth (far left front), who will command the deployed 103rd Security Forces Squadron, stand at ease as their respective units stand behind them during a Send-Off Ceremony at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn. July 6, 2011. The two commanders will lead their troops in overseas contingency operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Army 2nd Lt. Emily Hein)

BRADLEY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, East Granby, Conn. -- Servicemembers and their families, Patriot Guard and base honor guard, commanders and Connecticut's governor all gathered in the main hangar at Bradley Air National Guard Base to say farewell to members of the 103rd Airlift Wing's security forces and civil engineer squadrons July 6, 2011.

Chaplain (Maj.) David Larsen opened the ceremony with a prayer to watch over the Airmen and offered words to honor them for saying yes.

"To recognize this personal choice to solemnly serve, we send them with love and best wishes," said Larsen.

Approximately 80 Connecticut Air National Guardsmen have since deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

"After nearly 10 years of war, responding to our nation's call is not new for members of the Connecticut National Guard," said Maj. Gen. Thaddeus Martin, adjutant general for the state of Connecticut and commander of the Connecticut National Guard. "In fact, it's safe to say it is not new to some of the members of these units."

A fact less known is that the Connecticut Air Guard has deployed approximately another 60 additional Airmen to (See Send-Off continued on page 3) various locations in support of the nation's global war on terror, said Martin. Furthermore, according to Martin, an additional 350 or more servicemembers will deploy by this time next year.

"These are trying times; difficult to know exactly who the enemy is at any given moment," said Governor Dannel P. Malloy, commander-in-chief of the Connecticut National Guard, referring to the area of the world they would be going and the trials they would face while there. "In facing those trials understand that we, left behind in Connecticut, respect and admire all of your work--preparatory and unsung," said Malloy.

"Their ability to serve would not be possible without the love and support of the families that surround them," said Martin. Those families will become the Connecticut Guard's top priority in the next coming months and can expect a heightened level of awareness to their needs and a focus on helping them get through the difficult time associated with deployment separation, he said.

"To the family member, please understand, your state stands with you and that we are prepared to answer your call," said Malloy.

The ceremony ended with each squadron receiving a Connecticut state flag to fly at their deployed locations and a long round of applause for the Airmen.