Local Reservists Leaving for Afghanistan

By: Ashlea Sigman Email
By: Ashlea Sigman Email

A brigade of Army reservists based in Bryan is being deployed to Afghanistan. More than 130 soldiers from the Army Reserve's 420th Engineer Brigade will leave Tuesday.

They'll spend the next year helping improve the country's roads and work to improve conditions on area military bases.

Saturday, the soldiers met in Bryan to prepare to leave. They spent the day getting in some last-minute training and time with family.

Specialist Matthew Roberts has been deployed overseas before.

"But we weren't married yet, so its a little bit different," said wife Tanya.

That deployment was also before five-month-old Sara Grace came along. Now, with a wife and a baby, this year-long deployment will change the family's life.

"We put our house up for lease," said Tanya. "We moved out and moved in with some family for now, so the baby and I will be there with family while he's gone."

Spc. Roberts is packing a new laptop and webcam. He'll likely have to use them to watch his daughter's first steps.

"We're hoping to be able to do that, just stay online so he can see her and she can see him," said Tanya.

Captain Alexander Tran will also be leaving a wife and kids. "I tell them it's going to be about 400 days before they see daddy again," said Tran's wife, Krystina.

Like the Roberts, the Tran family plans on talking with each other as often as possible.

"As long as we keep pictures going and communication then hopefully, to them, it won't seem as long as it does, for me at least," said Tanya.

As these soldiers prepare to ship out, they know they have a long year ahead of them, but they also have support from home.

"I tell everybody he's my hero. He's my husband, but he's also my hero," said Krystina.

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