It's a sign that the war in Afghanistan will soon come to an end.
More than a thousand 1st Cavalry Division soldiers begin deploying to train Afghan security forces.
That's about half of the 4th Brigade Combat Team's entire force, and it's a bittersweet farewell for troops and their families.
1,500 "Long Knife" Combat Team troops got a proper cavalry charge send off at 1st Cav Headquarters today.
MAJ Jason Carter is one of them, headed to eastern Afghanistan to train Afghan security forces to take the reigns.
His wife Candice knows the time apart will be tough, especially with two young boys, but she also knows the sacrifice will help bring tens of thousands of U.S. troops home by 2014.
"That's really the only consolation to endure the separation is just to know that they have an important mission and an important job to do," said Candice.
It's a mission Jason is confident in and one he doesn't take lightly.
He said, "A lot of soldiers and families have sacrificed a lot in the last several years, and so it's a great honor to be able to go out and close out such a long conflict."
Only 14 months ago, the brigade returned from a similar mission in Iraq, providing the very same assistance our own nation's army received when it first began.
"The soldiers and leaders who stand in front of you this crisp morning, embody the best of that legacy, so that another nation and another people, the Afghan people have that same opportunity," said Brigade Commander COL William Benson at the casing ceremony.
"We can't leave if they aren't able to sustain and defend themselves," said Jason.
It's what pushes these soldiers onward and what will carry thousands more home into the arms of their loved ones.
Candice can relate.
She said, "I can't wait to get them home."
The soldiers will come home in nine months.
Reporter/Photographer: Sophia Stamas email@example.com