LC regiment soldiers face year away from home

February 21, 2010 at 8:41 pm Leave a comment

BY ELONA WESTON

CAMP SHELBY, Miss. — Some Southwest Louisiana citizen soldiers will sacrifice a year of their lives for the U.S. military’s mission in Iraq.

The American Press on Friday spoke with several soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 156th Infantry Regiment, headquartered in Lake Charles.

The soldiers have been training here since January for their deployment to Iraq in late March or early April.

All said they were focusing on their mission and missing their families back home.

The soldiers will get to visit their homes before the deployment.

Most said they have kept up with their families via cell phones and the Internet.

Staff Sgt. Joseph Malbrough of Lake Charles is an assistant manager at KMart on Ryan Street.

Malbrough said he talks to his wife, Bridget; son, Dalen; and daughter, Kyla, every day.

“I miss them a lot. I talk to them every day. I call and do homework over the phone with my son because he has a little math problem,” said Malbrough, an infantryman. “I miss just being home. When you’re away from home, you just realize what you have. When you’re here, every once in a while, you get down time and you think about home.”

To see and hear the soldiers, CLICK HERE.

Sgt. Jody Stroud of Lake Charles, also an infantryman, said his family has been supportive of his wanting to be in the military. Stroud previously served in the Air Force and has been in the National Guard for a year.

“Of course, they don’t like the fact that I actually have to go into a combat zone, but they understand that this is something that I believe in,” he said.

Stroud, an operations manager at Union Pacific Railroad, is married. His wife, Robin, will take care of their 7-yearold daughter, Raegan, and their 3-year-old son, Cooper, back home.

Stroud said it helps that his family is so understanding.

“This is something we actually like to do, and we believe in it,” he said.

Spc. Joseph Buxton of DeQuincy said he will miss precious moments with his 4-month-old son and his 11-yearold.

Buxton, who also works for Union Pacific Railroad, said his wife, Shannon, has been sending video of the children since he has been at Camp Shelby. He said she’ll continue sending videos so he can keep up with his children and see how his 4-month-old is developing.

“My newborn child. He’s going to be a year old by the time we get back. I’m not going to see him grow up that little bit,” he said.

Sgt. Nathaniel Orphey of Lake Charles is a paralegal for the battalion and is the equal opportunity representative for his company.

This is Orphey’s second deployment to Iraq. Last time, Orphey was a single soldier. Orphey is now married with a 5-month-old daughter, Caliyah.

“I was a single soldier — no kids — so it is like a totally different experience for me right now,” he said. “It’s a little bit harder this time.”

By all accounts, the soldiers have been sleeping well and eating well at Camp Shelby. They sleep in barracks and soldiers said they eat hot meals every day.

A farewell ceremony will likely be held in the areas where the soldiers visit home before deploying.

The 3rd Battalion, 156th Infantry Regiment is one of seven units that make up the 256th Infantry Brigade

link: http://bit.ly/dmGyr2

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