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    Texas family together in Iraq: Father, mother, son in 36th ID finishes deployment

    Texas family together in Iraq: Father, mother, son in 36th ID finishes deployment

    Photo By Spc. Andrew Slovensky | (Left to right) Spc. Eldridge Wilkins Jr., Sgt. Roslyn Wilkins, and Master Sgt....... read more read more

    BASRAH, Iraq — Deployments for service members can be a test for families. Mobilized service members can often spend a year or longer thousands of miles away from loved ones.

    But the Texas Army National Guard brought one family closer during deployment. Master Sgt. Eldridge Wilkins Sr., his wife Sgt. Roslyn Wilkins, and their son Spc. Eldridge Wilkins Jr., are deployed together to Contingency Operating Base Basra, Iraq, with the 36th Infantry Division headquarters last December in support of Operation New Dawn.

    The Wilkins family has a daughter also in the Texas Army National Guard and two daughters in high school back in Texas.

    “We have each other’s support,” said Roslyn, who had previously deployed to Bosnia and Kosovo. “It can be cool at times; it can be taxing at times.”

    Although they spend most of their time separate, completing their respective missions and giving each other space, the Wilkins family find moments to get together and bond, said Roslyn.

    “We usually get to see each other at lunch time,” said Roslyn. “It’s our favorite time of the day.”

    Having their family close helped them overcome trials. Eldridge Sr., noncommissioned officer-in-charge for knowledge management in the 36th Inf. Div., said that when his mother passed away early in the deployment, he benefited from having some of the people he loves most there with him.

    “I thank God that I have a family, my wife and my son, here to help me through this and support me and each other,” said Eldridge Sr. “This is one chapter in my life I will never forget.”

    Being overseas in a combat zone with your family isn’t always a plus, said Roslyn. Her family’s safety was a concern during the deployment. When indirect fire hit COB Basra, it endangered not just her, but her husband and son as well. Her priority was her family’s safety.

    “We have to make sure we’re all still intact at the end of that incoming,” she said.

    With the 36th Inf. Div., the Wilkins family endured the heat, danger, and sacrifices of a deployment together, and it made them a stronger family.

    “We’re proud to be part of the 36th,” said Roslyn.



    Date Taken: 08.05.2011
    Date Posted: 08.08.2011 08:32
    Story ID: 75038
    Location: BASRA, IQ

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