FORT KNOX, Ky. – Third Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) family and friends gathered at Harris Hall to say goodbye to advance echelon, or ADVON soldiers departing for Afghanistan March 29, here.<br /> <br /> In addition to family members, the Vine Grove Veterans of Foreign Wars (Post 10281), the Hardin County Ladies Auxiliary, and the Fort Knox American Red Cross were there to wish the soldiers well and provide snacks for the children.<br /> <br /> Third ESC Computer Information System Specialist, Sgt. Robert Butler, explained why it is important for a few ADVON soldiers to deploy before the main body.<br /> <br /> “We do need to get everyone’s accounts created, for instance. What good does it do to have computers, and have no way for everybody to log into them? We lay the groundwork so the rest of us can hit the ground running, and be effective as soon as possible.”<br /> <br /> Third ESC Support Operations Distribution Management Chief, Lt. Col. Marc Hamilton’s wife Monica was there to wish him well in what will be his third deployment during their marriage. “The first couple of weeks are always the hardest,” Mrs. Hamilton explained. “It helps that we’ve done this before, because we know we’ll get through it.”<br /> <br /> “We keep in touch with Skype, FaceTime…usually I call evenings, or early morning, my time, said Lt. Col. Hamilton. It works out that we’re both up then, and I’m usually not too busy.”<br /> <br /> After saying their goodbyes to friends and families, the soldiers loaded up in full sized vans for transport to Louisville International Airport.<br /> <br /> In coming weeks 3d ESC will deploy their main body to Afghanistan, as well as an ADVON and main body to Kuwait.