Edwards family says deployment is hard, but worth it - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Project Homefront: Edwards family says deployment is hard, but worth it

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GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Roxy Edwards knows that being the spouse of a military member can be difficult, but she would have it no other way.

Roxy and her husband Russell married about five years ago, and between the two of them, they have four children. The two oldest girls are from Roxy's first marriage and the two youngest children are Roxy and Russell's.

This is a close family and that is why when Russell deploys, it's tough on everybody. He went to Rota, Spain early this year and will be gone until sometime this coming winter.

Roxy said her 3-year-old son thinks daddy is at the store down the street from their Harrison County home. When you're three, it's hard to understand that the father you adore is actually very far way.

"He says, 'Where is far?' And I say, 'It is really far.' And he points and he says, 'Past Burger King?'" Roxy said.

The two oldest girls were just four and five when Russell went on his first deployment, which lasted six months. In her mind, Roxy can still so vividly see that day.

"I could not stop crying. I tried and I could not, because I kept thinking about him being gone for so long, and being alone," she said holding back tears while telling the story. "I would not drive off. I sat there until he disappeared. I could see him standing in formation crying with me."

Roxy calls her husband a selfless person, and a great father.

"Him being gone is extremely difficult, because we are a team and he is my other half," she said.

While he is on deployment, Russell will miss his wife's birthday and all four kids' birthdays, as well as his own. For Russell and Roxy, that just comes with the territory.

Roxy ended our conversation by reflecting on the good and the bad of having a loved one deployed.

"This experience is very difficult, however, I would not trade it for anything. As much as I love and miss him, the feeling I get from knowing he is helping other people out there is just, I love the feeling."

Russell should be home for good around Christmas time. And for the Edwards family, that will be a very good day.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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