Soldiers being deployed celebrate Thanksgiving early with their families

COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Thanksgiving is a time to spend with the family with many people catching last minute flights to make it home in time for dinner.

Others are saying a hard goodbye and making their families proud.

Just two days before Thanksgiving, Jenny Edwards said goodbye to her son Paul as he shipped out to basic training.

“It’s been difficult. It’s just been kind of heart-wrenching, but at the same time I’m so proud of him and so excited for him,” Jenny said.

Paul is going into a Navy challenge program, following in the footsteps of his older brother Daniel.

“I decided that it was something I might want to do so I kept trying and competed for my contract and finally got it,” Paul said.

Jenny says without Paul and Daniel home, the rest of the family will go elsewhere for the holidays.

“We purposely planned not to be in our home for the holidays. So even for Christmas, I’m going away,” Matthew O’Hara said.

O’Hara also shipped out on Tuesday and says the day snuck up on him.

“I have two months I have a month. I have two weeks. Oh, it’s tomorrow.”

His mom Arleen says she’ll miss him, but is so proud of what he’s doing.

“Just very proud of him that he’s going to do something for our country and to better his life,” Arleen said.

They celebrated Thanksgiving early, just like Keating Brunza and his family.

“My mom makes this amazing corn casserole. That’s my favorite. We invited the family up and it was really nice,” Keating said.

All three young men are proud to be serving their country.

Paul is hoping to make his brother proud.

“I’m just really happy I can follow in his footsteps and hopefully make him proud and the rest of my family proud and my country proud.”

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