Soldier talks to Albany family on satellite - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Soldier talks to Albany family on satellite

Specialist Monica Lashley Specialist Monica Lashley
Lashley's family in Albany Lashley's family in Albany
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July 15, 2004

Albany/Kuwait - We have kept you up to date on the 1148th Transportation Company, but we couldn't have done it without Specialist Monica Lashley. The Albany soldier was the first to tell us that they were packing up and heading out.

Since then, she has continued to keep us informed of what's going on overseas, in turn keeping you informed.

The military offered us a unique opportunity that we couldn't refuse. Lashley's family came to our studio to talk to her via satellite.

It's hard to believe it was February 2003 when we met the Albany soldier named Specialist Monica Lashley. She said, "Kind of nervous and don't know what to expect."

Lashley getting ready to change her life forever heading overseas with the 1148th Transportation Company. That was more than a year and three months ago.

Since then, you've seen her on a Christmas greeting and WALB's Wall of Honor. Our camera crew also spent Thanksgiving with her family, making her part of ours.

Recently we caught up with Lashley's captain while she was at Ft. Benning for rest and relaxation. Captain. Hampton assures, "Monica is doing fine. She got promoted to Specialist while we were over there. She's still working as our mail clerk and she's doing a great job."

A job that includes keeping everyone in good spirits. Lashley caught on a home video in Kuwait en route to check the mail. She briefly stops to show off her sense of humor, even in the desert. Lashley says, "It's hotter than fish grease out here."

And Lashley has kept us informed here of what's going on over there. As a thank you, we invited her family into our studio.

Lashley up on satellite, we can see her, but she can't see us. Her mom says to her daughter, "Hey, how ya doing?" Lashley answers, "Fine." Her mom looks at her daughter on the television monitor and adds, "You looking mighty good, can't wait until you get home." Lashley laughs, "Can you tell I've lost weight? They aren't feeding me out here!"

Lashley's grandmother, Charlotte Rutledge, smiles and jokes, "I'll have some cornbread and broccoli and coli flower casserole and a camel to ride." Lashley laughs and adds, "You can forget the camel! But, everything else sounds good Granny."

Her grandfather, Henry Rutledge, asks, "How are you doing over there?" She answers, "We're hanging in there."

Then Lashley finds out her niece is in the studio she waves to the camera and says, "Hi, Kodie!" Kodie shyly waves back to the television monitor. Kodie was not even one when her Aunt left for the desert. She's now two and a half.

Lashley's sister and Kodie's mother, Jennifer Lashley, cries, "Monica, I love you and miss you girl. I can't wait for you to get home and you and Kodie can start y'all's relationship over."

Lashley answers, "Girl, you know we're going to ride those go-carts, Aunt Monica loves you and I'll be seeing you soon." Kodie says, "I love you."

A family full of love, prayers and pride. "Monica, we want you to know that we are mighty proud of you, everybody can't do what you've done, " says her mom.

And she's almost done with her stay in Kuwait. Her mom adds, "We just can't hardly wait for you to get home. We love you." Lashley says, "I can't wait to get home, love y'all too."

After 456 days of living in the desert, she'll be back in Georgia on late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.

Specialist Monica Lashley wrote us an e-mail saying she can hardly sleep knowing that a flight has finally been set for their trip home.

posted at 5:10PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com