Guardsman will leave four kids and wife soon - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Guardsman will leave four kids and wife soon

November 12, 2004

Members of the Georgia National Guard's 48th Infantry Brigade are preparing for deployment to the Middle East. Nine-hundred of those guardsmen are from south Georgia. Fifty-five of them are from the Albany unit. 

It looks like a typical day of getting kids out the door to school but, today something more is weighing on the Edwards family.  Darlene Edwards says, "The boys are doing fine, but I don't think the girls understand just yet."

Their dad will be gone for a long time. Specialist Steve Edwards says, "I worry about them, but I'll have to keep myself straight, more or less."

Specialist Edwards will leave his wife and four kids in Lee County for a second family, the National Guard's 121st Infantry. This is his first deployment. 

He's expected to start training with the 48th Infantry Brigade in December, but by Springtime, he'll be gone for a year to the Middle East. Specialist Edwards adds, "To be honest with you I really don't know. I know I'll be over there somewhere, but as of right now we really don't know exactly where we're going."

But, he does know his family will anxiously wait his return.  His wife says, "We are going to have a really good Thanksgiving and we're going to take it one day at a time. My main concern is that he's going to be okay and come home to us."

Mrs. Edwards will have to be a single mom taking care of more than one family. She's a Family Readiness Group volunteer. She says, "I've got a lot of people to be strong for."

Even though the guardsmen will start training at Fort Stewart in December, they may be able to come home for Christmas.

Specialist Edwards has served in the National Guard for 12 years.

posted at 5:30PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com