SHAW AIR FORCE BASE ( WACH ) -- On Tuesday members of the 77th Fighter Squadron and the 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron deployed to Iraq. More than 200 airmen were able to wait with their friends and families before they had to leave on their four-month departure.Among them was 26-year old father of five Frank Wallick."It's a lot of distance from loved ones but we are going to hang in there and it will be alright," said Wallick.The Senior Airmen said this will be his first time away from his large family and his three week old baby. During his wait Wallick gave his oldest son a watch set to Iraqi time. Wallick said his biggest concern is for his wife Robin who will have to raise their five children on her own."It's going to be a burden, but we have a few friends and the airforce provides a great support staff for families," said Wallick.For now Wallick's only fear is of the unknown."I don't know what's going to happen . I don't know exactly what I'll be doing or where I'm going to be, but we are going to do the best job we can and come home when it's our time," said Wallick.
Squadron pilots and their F-16 Fighting Falcons are scheduled to depart next week for the four-month deployment.