Deployment: It’s A “Family Affair”
May 13, 2008
Often, when we think about families and deployments, we think about spouses, children, parents and siblings, waiting at home while their Soldier deploys, constantly worrying that their Soldier will return home safely and without injuries. It’s not very often that we hear of relatives deploying together. It just doesn’t happen that often. When my youngest son deployed to Kosovo in 2000, I was often asked if I worried about him deploying to that environment. My answer to that question, was always, “Not really.” I really didn’t worry, because I knew that my brother was part of his National Guard unit and that he would do his best to ensure that he was okay.
One mom won’t have to sit at home, wondering and worrying about her son, as he deploys to Iraq. Why? Because she’s going to be deploying with him. She’s a 46 year old combat medic, Sgt Carmen Villegas serving in a National Guard unit from New Jersey, who was transferred just two weeks ago, to the same unit as her son, Sgt. Felipe Diaz. According to Diaz, he was given the task of introducing his mom to the members of the F Company, 250th Brigade Support Battalion, 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. They’re scheduled to deploy to Iraq in September. Initially, Villegas was planning to retire from the National Guard in June, until she heard about the upcoming deployment. She changed her mind, when she found out.
“It’s like a family to me,” Villegas said of the Guard. She joined in 1979 when Diaz was just a baby.
As a mother, she says that even though she’ll be with her son on this deployment, she’ll still worry about him. She’ll have another family member that she’ll be worry about as well. She’s scheduled to marry another National Guard member, Sgt Victor Hernandez, on Wednesday. He too is a part of the National Guards, serving with a helicopter unit nearby and is scheduled to deploy to Iraq in January.
This is one amazing lady and quite an inspiration. Not many mothers would be able to do what she’s gearing up to do. I’ll be keeping her, her son and her future husband in my thoughts as they deploy.