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Deployed soldier leaves behind his pregnant wife

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Sarah Walker sheds some tears with her husband John by her side at the RCA Dome on Jan. 2 for a ceremony honoring the 76th Brigade Combat Team. Courtesy Photo.
Sarah and John Walker haven't been married long.

In November, they learned they were expecting their first child.

But two months before, the couple learned John was being deployed to Iraq.

John is part of the 76th Brigade Combat Team, based out of Indianapolis.

"He got his phone call in September, on a Wednesday," Sarah said, adding he received confirmation of his deployment only a few days later.

"I was really upset and worried," Sarah continued. "At that point, we didn't know I was pregnant.

"I've never had to live without him."

The unit recently was honored with a ceremony at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis.

"That was kind of cool," Sarah told The Brazil Times Tuesday.

At the ceremony, soldiers and family members were treated to guest speakers, including Congressmen Joe Donnelly, Brad Ellsworth, Mark Souder, Mike Pence, Steve Buyer and Dan Burton, along with Indianapolis Colts' Team President Bill Polian, Sen. Richard Lugar and Gov. Mitch Daniels.

Sarah said John -- who has been a member of the National Guard since 2003 -- is a gunner specialist. This is his first deployment.

He, like the others in the unit, has been training for deployment. The unit is currently training at Ft. Stewart in Georgia and will leave for Kuwait soon before heading to Iraq.

Sarah said John -- a lifelong resident of Brazil -- will be based out of Camp Anaconda, just north of Baghdad, while in Iraq.

She said when they learned John would be deployed, they weren't sure what to think.

"We were getting ready to move to Lafayette," she said.

However, since receiving confirmation of his deployment, and learning she was expecting their first child in July, Sarah has moved in with John's parents.

John, 26, also has an 8-year-old son from a previous relationship.

While at the ceremony on Jan. 2, Sarah said the couple had little time to say goodbye.

"It was so packed," she said. "We only had about 15 minutes. It never really sunk it until we had to say goodbye on (Jan. 2).

"It was like I was giving my life away. He's my best friend."

Sarah said John will be overseas for approximately one year. Although he will not be here to see the birth of his child, she will be able to maintain contact with him via Webcam. She purchased him a laptop for Christmas with a built-in Webcam and added the couple will stay in touch via the phone.

"It's tough," she said. "I just plan on sending him care packages. I'll send him care packages probably every day of the week."

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