Families say goodbye at Colorado National Guard deployment ceremony

Fifty men and women in the Colorado National Guard are preparing to head overseas for a year long mission.

It’s called Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, and its a combat role which makes saying goodbye that much harder.

Chris Poppleton, first lieutenant with the Colorado National Guard, is starting 2019 with two tough missions. One will be in Afghanistan, piloting a Chinook helicopter in Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, helping civilians with medical, security, and food.

Poppleton’s other mission is tougher, saying goodbye to his family, ”this time is definitely a lot harder because last time it was just me.”

This time around his wife Charlotte, daughter Paisley and nine month old son Bennett makes it that much harder to leave. Twelve months can seem like 12 years, “I already know what’s coming and what I am not going to be there for so there is no great way to say I am sorry I won’t be there. She has done an outstanding job to prepare for that as well," said Poppleton.

Charlotte Poppleton doesn’t wear a uniform, but serves nonetheless, “The military is something we all agreed to and we are here to support him the most so we hold down the fort back home until he gets back and then it’s all find it from there.“

Poppleton doesn’t serve for praise or recognition, although he deserves both, and when you thank him for his service, he has a hard time saying you’re welcome.

We said it anyway.

We wish the Colorado national guard and Bravo Company all the best, and we plan on being there when they return from Afghanistan.

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