"I love them and I'll miss them," said Winstead. "That's the hardest part of deployment for me is leaving them."
Winstead is no stranger to the hardships of being deployed away from his family. During his first deployment he missed the birth of his first son. This time he will miss another milestone - the birth of his third child, due next March.
He is among 300 other National Guard soldiers being deployed from Los Alamitos. They will first head to Fort Hood in Texas before going to Iraq, where they will mostly fly and maintain Blackhawk helicopters and help move troops and supplies.