Gladewater Soldier Headed To Iraq - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/31/04-Longview

Gladewater Soldier Headed To Iraq

An East Texas soldier is preparing for war, spending his last days with his family before leaving for Iraq. In the army for a little more than a year, 19-year-old Clint Bailey has enjoyed spending time with loved ones this holiday season. And as the year comes to an end, he looks to his next duty station in Iraq.

"Well I'm grateful that I've had the opportunity to spend time with my parents and family , I look at the soldiers over there that don't get that opportunity," says Bailey.

For the past year, he's watched his fellow soldiers fight, and sometimes die, in news reports of their effort to stabilize the war torn country, and now it's his turn.

"I look at them and that's what they signed up for, they're doing their duty over there and now it's my time," he says.

For his family and his girlfriend, it's precious time having him home at this time of year. But a time of worry for what he goes to.

"He's going to a dangerous part of the world, but we have faith in god, he's got training and we think he's ready for the task," says stepfather Dale Payne.

He prepares himself now for the long haul, in a place where conditions can be grueling. In true soldier spirit, he does now what he knew would be expected of him some day.

"Theres a huge risk it's very dangerous over there but i support going, I'm really proud to be a soldier," said Bailey.

He leaves for Iraq on January 10th.

Bob Hallmark, reporting.

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