DENTON (CBSDFW.COM) – A Texas National Guard Unit based in Denton is hours away from being deployed. The goodbyes began as the soldiers and their families prepared for the deployment.
The Bird Family from Weatherford will be spending the next few days at a hotel in Denton. “It’s hard for me to leave Shannon and Logan,” says Captain Austin Bird, pointing to his wife and son “It’s my second deployment so it’s a little easier.”
Logan is only 14-months old. This weekend his father will be leading 150 National Guard soldiers to Afghanistan. “I’m going to miss half his life. I will miss the whole second year of his life. He is my first son and only, and that’s kind of hard.”
Bird’s wife is coping too and getting ready to handle everything on her own. “I’m really proud of him, you kind of hang on to that instead of the worry,” says Shannon Bird “You hang on to how proud you are of your husband.”
Private First Class Ruben Oaxaca’s family can relate. It will be his first tour. “A little nervous at the same time excited,” says the father of two.
The family from Arlington says they’ve never been apart longer than a few months. “I’m nervous a little. It will be ok. It will be ok,” explains Ashley Oaxaca “I’ve got help. I’ve got a good family and they will be there for me.”
The soldiers are plumbers, carpenters and electricians. They will be in Afghanistan for a year constructing buildings on military bases. “When we go there and build something we are going to build it with pride and it will last for a long time and they will know Texans build that,” says Captain Bird.
While they try to restore some faith in Afghanistan, their families will be home capturing every moment they’ll miss.
The public is invited to a farewell ceremony at the Texas Woman’s University for the soldiers and their families on Saturday. It will be at 1 p.m. at Pioneer Hall off Bell Avenue between University Drive and Administration Drive.