Treasuring Holiday Moments Before Deployment - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Treasuring Holiday Moments Before Deployment

One East Texas family has a few extra reasons to be thankful. The Sunday family has two sons in military service. One is in Iraq now and will come home next month.

The other, Staff Sergeant Tony Sunday, is prepariing to deploy for Afghanistan. 

"If I'm not going to do it than who is?" Tony asked. Tony say's it's a call he's answering.

Leaving his family behind, including two young children, Tony will go Friday for mobilization in Washington then to Afganistan for 9 months.

"That demonstrates the ability to me of a man who knows what he wants and isn't afraid to go after it. Even if it means putting oneself in harms way," said Montie Sunday, Tony's mom.

For five years, he served in the Marines and for the past five years, he's been in the Army National Guard but this will be his first time in combat.

"There is always that feeling of not knowing what your going to encounter," said Tony.

His wife Meredith says, "I'm scared for him and I'm nervous for me."  

As any parents would be, Keith and Montie Sunday are so proud of their boys. His younger brother is in the Navy and has been in Iraq but is will come home December 24th.

 "I remember one night waking up and thinking I cant protect him. I can't protect him. Only God can protect him," said Montie.

This Thanksgiving almost the whole Sunday family gathered. Three generations in his grandmother's house including Tony's children 7 year old Gaven, 14 month old Addison, and 5 week old Carter: all treasuring the time together.

"He is very brave. I told him we'll take care of it on this end. We'll make sure Meredith and the babies are ok. He just needs to come home safe and sound," said Keith Sunday, Tony's dad, "We ask everybody to pray for him."

 "I've been gone so much this last year. While I was gone my daughter started to walk and I'm going to miss my son starting to walk. And I think of all the birthdays and everything too. I'm so thankful for ever little moment," said Tony, "You don't always get them back."

The Sunday's have a long line of military service including a grandfather who served in Germany. Tony will leave from Tyler Pounds Friday afternoon.

Danielle Capper, Reporting

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