JOINT BASE LEWIS McCHORD, Wash. -- More than 75 airmen from JBLM are saying goodbye to their families as they head to the Middle East.

The squadron will be gone for the holidays to fly missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the Horn of Africa.

In the airlift business, the mobility business, I like to think of us as a silent warriors in the background. It's notaglory job, but it's an important job, said Major Scott Wiederholt.

This is the fifh deployment for Maj. Wiederholt, who is leaving a wife and 4 young boys at home.

The squadron will spend the next 60 days supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Their mission will be to move everything from cargo to troops that includes airlifting disaster victims and air dropping soldiers in hostile territory.

Before the airmen leave, helping their kids adjust is a big part of the preparation and figuring out ways to run the household with just one parent.

Maj. Wiederholt's family does something special for him while he's gone.

We have a box. It's called the While you were gone box,' and we're just going to put things in it. If we go somewherewe'll put something inside it so, when he gets home, he can talk about it because he's not here and the kids forget what we do, said Wiederholt's wife, Pamela.

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