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08/31/09 — Chiefs fly to join Afghanistan fight

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Chiefs fly to join Afghanistan fight

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on August 31, 2009 1:46 PM

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News-Argus/GREG SOUSA

4th Fighter Wing Commander Col. Mark Kelly, right, showed up at the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base flight line Sunday to motivate 300-plus members of the 335th Fighter Squadron one final time before they boarded a DC-10 bound for Afghanistan -- and to shake each one of their hands.

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News-Argus/GREG SOUSA

335th Fighter Squadron members head for a transport plane Sunday.

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News-Argus/GREG SOUSA

Senior Airman Shaun Thomas spends a few moments alone shortly before deploying.

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News-Argus/GREG SOUSA

Military Affairs Commission chairman Dr. Mike Gooden brought 10 cases of eastern North Carolina peanuts for deployed airmen to eat on the flight. But he and former MAC chairman Henry Smith also came with a pledge: That the Wayne County community will watch over the families left behind.

There were no long embraces between husbands and wives along the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base flight line Sunday afternoon -- no children running in for one last hug before their mothers and fathers left for war. For the more...

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