Family Prepares For Father's Call-up - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Family Prepares For Father's Call-up

As the U.S. Military's presence in the Middle East continues to grow, thousands of reservists from across the country are being called to active duty. As reservists, those men and women are forced to leave behind jobs and families to serve their country.

One East Texas family is preparing to say goodbye to their dad, as he embarks on a year-long tour of duty in Iraq.

A Sunday spent at the local home improvement store isn't uncommon for the Platt family of Tyler.  But this trip is different.

It's one of the last outings they'll have as family before Randy Platt ships out to Iraq.

"Every once and awhile I think about it and I don't want it to come and it's coming sooner than I want it to," said Platt's wife Marti. "I try not to think about it, but yeah, it will be hard for the family," said 18-year-old son Eric.

It was just two months ago Randy learned, after 16 years in the Naval Reserve, he was being called to active duty.

"There is always anxiety that goes along with it, fear of the unknown and flat out fear, you know-- what is it that I've gotten myself into, my wife into, my family into," said Randy.

Working as an emergency room nurse for more than 10 years, Randy's medical training will be invaluable to other soldiers in Iraq. His family said, it's his job here at home that will be missed.

"I think that's the hard part, you think. 'Oh what do I do if the car breaks down', it's tough."

They said the pride they feel for their father helps them block out the fear they have of him going to war.

"I'm definitely proud of him," said Eric.  "He's been training for 16 years to do this now he finally gets the chance and he's excited about it and that makes me excited about it and the fact that he gets to serve the country and do what he loves to do is great."

Randy said he will miss his family, but realizes he has a job to do.

"It's always difficult, just leaving for two weeks, that I've been doing year after year.. just leaving for two weeks is a difficult thing, we're talking about a lot longer than two weeks," he said.  "Being able to help the people who's heart is where it needs to be to fight the war is very important."

Randy is set to leave January 10th for additional training in Austin. He expects to leave for Iraq by the end of the month. The military has told the Platts he'll be there for a least a year.

Chris Gibson, reporting

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