Family Prepares For Son To Deploy To Persian Gulf - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Upshur County- 4/13/03

Family Prepares For Son To Deploy To Persian Gulf

While Jessica Lynch's family celebrates her return to U.S. soil some families are just preparing to send their military men and women off to 'Operation Iraqi Freedom'.

East Texan, Daniel Decker is from Union Grove.

His army unit will be leaving for the Persian gulf later this month.

His family, back at home, is both proud and anxious.

"He was quarterback for Union Grove," Daniel's mother, Bertha, shows us pictures of her son.

Three years ago Daniel Decker was a teenager graduating from high school.

Today he is a young man, a newlywed, preparing to go to war.

"He's leaving on his dad's birthday. Which is the 28th. It's going to be hard for his dad and him too. But he's ready," says his mom.

Daniel knew he wanted to join the military even before he graduated from high school.

Two years ago he signed up for the army not knowing that war would soon be part of his new career.

"I was just proud of him for the fact that he was willing and also happy for him that he got to do his dream. Because ever since he was younger he wanted to go into the service," says Daniel's sister Amanda.

Today Daniel's family spends much of their time watching the latest on the war in Iraq.

Imagining and worrying about the world Daniel will soon find himself in.

"The ones that are still sold out that are hiding that bothers me. You never know when they're going do something to try to take revenge," says Daniel's father Dennis.

"I worry that these people might turn back on Americans and I just pray that everyday that God will keep them safe and well. He called me Tuesday of last week at work and told me that he loved me. And of course I broke down and cried," says his mom.

Daniel's family says he is excited and ready for the duty that lies ahead, and he reassures his family that he will return home safely.

Daniel will be leaving April 28th for the Persian Gulf from his army base in Fort Riley, Kansas.

He is expecting to be there for six to eighteen months.

Amy Tatum, reporting.

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