There were plenty of tears and cheers early Wednesday morning as the men and women of the 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry boarded buses at the New Richmond Armory and headed down Knowles Avenue on their way to a yearlong deployment in Afghanistan.

The reality of "serving" and the bond between service men and women were both on display in the warm morning sun as family members and friends shared hugs and recited contact information in the Armory parking lot.

Just across the road, a vintage fighter plane stood as a reminder of the legacy of service handed down from one generation of soldiers to the next.