Fifteen Nevada pilots deploy for final mission to Afghanistan

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Updated: 6/05/2014 10:33 am
RENO, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- By December of this year, combat missions will officially end in Afghanistan, but not before a group of fifteen Nevada Army National Guard pilots deploy one last time to support missions in the Middle East.

"It's the right time. Other National Guard members have served with honor, and now its my turn," says Capt. Benjamin De La Paz, a pilot in the Army National Guard 45th OSA.

This is Capt. De La Paz's first deployment as part of the operational support airlift. The pilots will leave Thursday morning for training -- then it's on to Afghanistan for a one-year deployment. It's the last scheduled deployment as Operation Enduring Freedom comes to an end.

The soldiers consider it an honor to be the last National Guard unit scheduled for deployment -- and their families know the next year will be tough.

"It's going to be tough because he's such a great dad to my children and so I feel bad for them and what he's going to miss out; but it will be over [quickly]... I'm going to do whatever I need back here and home and support him," says one such family member.

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