Iowa soldiers deploy for Afghan tour of duty

POCAHONTAS – Family members said goodbye this weekend to 40 soldiers in a National Guard unit based in northwest Iowa who are getting ready to head to Afghanistan.

The members of the Army Reserve’s 415th Military Police Detachment held their farewell ceremony in Pocahontas on Saturday.

Sgt. Steven Oberg said he’s excited about the deployment, but his sister Caroline Oberg said she’s worried about her brother’s safety.

“I guess I’m kind of scared. If something were to happen to him, that’d be the biggest thing,” Caroline Oberg said.

The soldiers have a good idea what to expect because most have been in Afghanistan before – it’s the unit’s third deployment there in the past five years. The soldiers will complete 10 weeks of training before continuing on to Afghanistan.

“I think every parent and every spouse gets worried,” Sherri Ridder said.

This will be the second time Spc. Nick McDonald of Fort Dodge and his wife, Susan, will be separated by a deployment.

Susan McDonald said she knows that this generation of military spouses has the benefit of technology and video chats to stay in touch. She said her grandmother had it much tougher during World War II and the Korean War.

“It helps out a lot,” to use Facebook and Skype, she said.

This will be Staff Sgt. Jarrod Hoskinson’s first deployment, and he had to say goodbye to his 3-month-old daughter.

“There’s a lot to take in,” he said. “It’s going to be hard.”


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