War Separates East Texas Family - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/04/07-Flint

War Separates East Texas Family

Sergeant First Class Darrin Smith said at the time, finding out he would be deployed to Iraq didn't really sink in.  Now, despite the circumstances, he said he and his wife have an obligation to fulfill.

Darrin has been in the United States Army for 15 years, but not even those years of military service could prepare him for what he is about to do.

"With this being our first child, she's really, really nervous," said Smith.  "It's hard to not be there for her."  Darrin leaves for Iraq, Tuesday, and he'll be leaving behind his wife, Ashleigh, who is seven months pregnant with their first child.  The couple was just married this past July, and now they're preparing for an even greater time apart.  

"We just try to take every minute for what it's worth," said Ashleigh Smith.  "With him being gone and us just starting a marriage, it's been very difficult."  More than 3,800 soldiers have died and more than 28,000 injured since the war began, but even in the face of a potentially dangerous mission, Darrin said his concerns are here at home.  

"It bothers me more and weighs on my mind more that I'm going to be separated from my spouse, with whom I've just gotten married, more so than the thought of getting hit by an IED," said Smith.  Though she'd love for Darrin to be home, to be there for the birth of their baby boy, Ashleigh says she understands the sacrifices she and her family are having to make.  

"I wouldn't say that I wouldn't want the war to be here, or for it to be over with because that would be selfish on my part," said Ashleigh.  Ashleigh said she's putting her trust in one thing.

"We have our faith in God, and I know he can pull us through it," said Ashleigh.  For the next 15 months, Ashleigh said she will just have to pray and hope for the best for her husband and the other servicemen and women.

Layron Livingston, Reporting.  llivingston@kltv.com

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