News: Service is a way of life for Liford family
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq — It’s rare when a family deploys together. For four family members with 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry Regiment, 77th Sustainment Brigade, 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, all Barbourville, Ky., natives, service is a shared responsibility.
Sgt. 1st Class Tony Liford, a platoon sergeant with A Company, 149th Inf. Regt., believes that serving in the Army is a family affair.
“Being able to serve with my two sons and watch their growth in the ranks is by far the greatest honor any father could ever experience,” he said.
Tony’s son, Staff Sgt. Anthony Liford, serves as a noncommissioned officer on the battle staff for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 149th Inf. Regt., based out of Barbourville, Ky., where he supervises ongoing operations in the battalion tactical operations center at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. He also serves full-time as an assistant battalion operations NCO back home.
Deploying with family isn’t a new experience for Anthony. In 2006, he deployed to Baghdad as a supply specialist alongside three of his cousins. Anthony said deploying with family makes it easier being away from home, but that it’s tough having immediate family to worry about.
“My wife and mom are definitely helping each other through this deployment,” he said.
Spc. Joshua Liford , a communications specialist for A Company, 149th Inf. Regt., based out of Harlan, Ky., joined the Army in December 2007. Joshua is a full-time student majoring in Criminal Justice at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Ky.
Pfc. Joseph Liford, 22, a vehicle commander with A Company, 149th Inf. Regt., is Anthony and Joshua’s cousin.
Outside of the Army, Joseph is a student at Eastern Kentucky University working towards a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a minor in homeland security.
Joseph said that as far back as he can remember, he wanted to be in the military and he enjoys the unique experience of serving overseas with his family.
“I feel good about getting to go with my cousins. Not every family can say four members deployed at the same time,” he said.
In the end, deployments are difficult for all military families, not just the Lifords. However, their situation presents a powerful narrative about the dedication of the Army and its soldiers, displaying how service and sacrifice sometimes runs in the family.