PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM (HawaiiNewsNow) - The USS Paul Hamilton deployed to the Middle East and Western Pacific Tuesday.
A crew of about 30 officers and 223 sailors boarded the guided-missile destroyer and departed from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
The USS Paul Hamilton will join other U.S. ships and provide support.
The deployment will last seven months, which means the sailors' families will not have them around for the holidays.
"That's the hardest part, the kids are older but it still doesn't make it any easier to say goodbye, whether its now, in the summertime, wintertime, it's still sad," sailor's wife Renee Schmidt said.
"Stressful, it's a stressful time. It is the holidays and I have three kids to look after while he's away but I know he's out protecting the country and I bless him and I hope God watches over him," sailor's wife Lashonda Leverette said.
The USS Paul Hamilton will be used in anti-air, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare missions.