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Oct 24, 2009 9:23 PM by Sarah Rosario

Families preparing for Soldier Deployment

More than 3000 soldiers will deploy for war in January. Until then workshops are being held all over the state specifically for family members. This weekend's workshop in Lafayette, is taking place at UL's student union. Its purpose is to prepare family members for what's to come while their loved ones are away.

24 year old Heath Stoute is getting ready for war. Come January, he will deploy for the second time. He and the rest of 256th brigade will deploy to southern part of Iraq, but for Stoute this deployment is different, he's now married. "I wanted to get a chance to see some of the things that are available to her while I'm deployed," said Staff Sgt Stoute. His wife said the workshop is helping her understand procedures, "there's lots of resources that they have available to us," said wife, Amy Stoute.

The workshop is offered for families to learn and prepare for things they will experience during their loved ones deployment cycle. Workshop speaker Angela Ott said, "We talk about the emotional cycles of deployment and we give them tools and resources that they can take back with them to better understand what they're going through and how they can cope with the deployment of their service member."

It's not only the families who are preparing, the soldiers are too. The commander says they are working on individual training. "Basically the shoot, move, save your buddy's life tasks they'll have to master before we go," said Deputy Brigade commander James Wascom.

The soldiers will be gone for a year with only two weeks vacation to come home and see their family. Stoute's wife says while he's away she'll be busy with school. That way when he comes back they'll have more time to spend together.
"I'm concerned, I'm worried, but I'm confident. He loves what he does and I'm here to support him," said Stoute.

Sarah Rosario

srosario@katctv.com

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