(KHNL) - This summer, thousands of Oahu soldiers from Schofield Barracks are deploying to Iraq.
For many military men and women, it's not their first time.
"Kinda sad because I'm going to be gone for a year," said Chris Castillo, with the U.S. Army.
The 30-year-old is part of the Third Brigade, Special Troops Batallion. He's just one of an estimated 7,000 Schofield soldiers heading over to the Middle East. Castillo already spent six months in Iraq, just a few years ago.
"I guess I know what to expect. I know what's over there now," said Castillo.
But it won't be easy being away from his wife and his young son.
"It's going to be difficult because he knows now. His first deployment, he was just 1 1/2. Now he's 4 and he's like, why does Daddy have to go again?" said Valerie Castillo, wife.
Castillo's son may be too young to understand his father's mission, but the 4-year-old knows what he has to do while his dad is gone.
"I'm going to be a good boy," said Ryan Castillo, son.
"I tell him that he should protect Mommy," said his dad.
Castillo's wife is relying on family and friends to help her get through the tough times. And her husband, is taking some favorite family photos, to help him as well. Even though his loved ones will be halfway around the world, they'll always be close at heart.