Families Bid Farewell, Soldiers Off to War

By: Ilyssa Trussel
By: Ilyssa Trussel

MSGT Albert Wheaton is home for the first week of his daughter's life. Most likely, though, he'll miss Rylee's first birthday, and that brings tears to his wife's eyes.

"I'm very happy that he was able to be here for her. It's very hard on me for him to be leaving tomorrow, but we'll get through it," said Kesha Wheaton.

Wheaton and 144 other members of the 160th Battalion of the U.S. Army Reserves get a sendoff ceremony as they prepare to head overseas for their fight on the frontlines.

Wendy Cook was also crying as she held her son Chase with one hand and her husband, MAJ Patrick Cook, with the other.

"It's really, really hard. It's hard to describe. They're leaving for up to a year and a half and leaving us behind, and we're expecting one, so it’s indescribable. It's tough," she said rubbing her belly.

Shane Roberts is just nine years old but clearly understands his father is going to war.

"I'm proud of him but I'm a little sad and a little worried. I'm sad because he's leaving and I won't see him for a year."

SSGT Steven Pridgeon has been overseas before and says family support is what all the brave men and women have to lean on.

"It's always hard, but they also understand we have a job to do and we're also very proud of our job and it’s also a blessing to even stand for our country, so we really appreciate our families standing behind us 100 percent."

The unit is first headed to Fort Bliss, Texas for training. Then they're off to southwest Asia where they could be deployed about a year.


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