Soldier prepares to return to Iraq - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Soldier prepares to return to Iraq

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August 18, 2005

Dougherty County- On a globe, the 4,000 mile span between Albany and Iraq seems small, but when Sgt. Willie Sutton is away from his family any distance is too far.

"We have a four year old daughter and she knows that her father is in Iraq, but she's always asking when he's coming home, and when he's going to call," says his wife Shaqutia Sutton.

Sutton is a member of the 3rd Infantry Division of the U.S. Army, and is serving his second tour of duty in Iraq.

"I knew it was coming when we came back the last time, so I just got prepared for it," he says.

During his two weeks leave he's been vacationing with his family and enjoying luxuries like air conditioning.

"It's a different type of heat. Here you have humidity and you sweat. Other there it's like a blow dryer. When I was getting ready to leave it was up to 126," Sutton says.

His wife Shaqutia is proud of her husband, but admits she worries about his safety.

"I try not to watch TV at all," she says.

But the couple says signs of support give them confidence Sutton and his unit will be safe.

"I enjoy seeing the yellow ribbons and the stickers on the cars also. It's very helpful, and they enjoy it too when they come home," Shaqutia says.

In Iraq, Sutton's job is an important one.

"I'm responsible for training a hundred or better soldiers on how to react to nuclear, biological and chemical weapons," explains Sutton.

Now, he's hoping with prayers and support from home, he and his unit will be able to finish their mission and return safely.

Sutton has been in Iraq for seven months, and says he has about five more months to go. He will leave Albany Friday to join the rest of his unit at Camp Taji, Iraq.

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