SEAGOVILLE (CBSDFW.COM) – Tissue in hand Amy Wallace tries hard to compose herself.
She sits in the back watching her husband take part in a sendoff ceremony in Seagoville.
She’s getting ready to say good-bye to Specialist Mark Wallace, a U.S. Army Reservist from Denton. After the goodbye ceremony, families like the Wallace’s are ushered into a room where there’s cake with “God Bless You,” written on it and punch.
Specialist Wallace tries to savor a very special moment with his baby girl. He holds her tight; she is just nine days old. His son Aidan is 6 years old.
“I know you can’t ever make up for lost time,” says Specialist Wallace “I know when he is old enough he will understand why I did what I do and sacrifice.”
This will be Specialist Wallace’s first deployment and the longest he’s ever been away from his family.
“It’s hard to think about the next year, but we are getting through it,” says Amy Wallace keeping her sunglasses on because her tears won’t stop.
She says what makes it so hard for her is that her husband will miss their son’s birthday and their baby girl’s smiles and crawling for the very first time.
She says her goal is to make sure their baby knows her father, “Trying to make sure she’s going to be able to recognize him when he comes home so we are going to try to Skype as much as we can so she is familiar with his voice.”
Specialist Ivan Garcia from Dallas knows the sacrifices all too well too.
His family is preparing to expand.
“I’m actually expecting a child right now,” says Specialist Garcia “It’s sad. It’s my first child. I mean it’s something I did not expect or plan. All I ask is the health of my child.”
Specialist Garcia’s baby is expected in February and he says he’s heartbroken that he’ll miss the birth.
The soldiers are electricians, engineers and carpenters who will be working on major construction projects at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan.
They are going at a time when the war is winding down and many troops are coming home yet they say that’s their duty.
“It’s our duty we signed up for this and it’s my turn to serve my country,” says Specialist Garcia.
Specialist Wallace echoes that, “Of course they have to come home and see their families so we have to leave our families to do the same.”
The soldiers will be apart from their families anywhere from nine months to a year.
(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
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