CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait – For many Soldiers, going on an overseas deployment means leaving behind friends and families for extended periods – but not always. Two West Virginia Army National Guard members crossed paths while deployed.
They also happen to be father and son.
“When I first saw my dad in Kuwait a few weeks ago, it was a breath of fresh air,” said Spc. Tyler Goldsberry, a Black Hawk mechanic with the 2nd General Support Battalion, 104th Aviation Regiment. “It was a new but very familiar face when I saw him walk up to me for the first time on base.”
Originally from Cross Lanes, West Virginia, Tyler Goldsberry and his father - Chief Warrant Officer Craig Goldsberry - are deployed to Southwest Asia. Although they are in Kuwait together, Tyler is to redeploy back to West Virginia soon.
“This is a very unique experience of being deployed here and seeing my son, who I haven’t seen in nearly a year,” said Craig Goldsberry, a human resources warrant officer with the 111th Engineer Brigade. “Having my son here with me feels like a piece of home.”
Despite being assigned to different units and working on different parts of the base, the two make an effort to see each other. Whether it is grabbing dinner at the dining facility or watching a movie in the theater, they are taking advantage of every minute they have together.
“We are just trying to catch up,” said Tyler Goldsberry. “There is a lot my dad and I have missed over the last nine months.”
They are both extremely thankful for crossing paths while deployed, but they concede saying goodbye again in a few weeks will be a challenge.
“I think when he leaves, it will make me miss home that much more,” said Craig Goldsberry. “Dinners will not be the same once my son leaves.”
While acknowledging that their military service forces them to be apart for long periods, they agree the National Guard has shaped their lives in positive ways.
Tyler Goldsberry said being raised in a military family provided a very different experience than his childhood friends.
“My dad showed me how much the military can offer and how you can be better because of it,” said Tyler Goldsberry. “Seeing my dad in his uniform was inspirational. Going to work with him was always interesting. I would not change a thing about the way he raised me.”
“The National Guard is a like a family, so it offers a truly special experience when your actual family is also within your Guard family,” said Craig Goldsberry.
Since enlisting over three decades ago, Craig Goldsberry has had plenty of proud moments and has accomplished an abundance of critical missions – but one sticks out as the most memorable.
“Although this experience of being deployed with my son is definitely up there on the list of things I’ll never forget, my proudest moment was swearing him into the military on the day that he enlisted,” said Craig Goldsberry. “It felt good to know that my son was carrying on the next generation of military service, after myself and his grandpa and his great-grandpa.”
Tyler Goldsberry said when he has children, he would love to see them continue the family tradition of serving in the military. Craig Goldsberry agreed, saying that it would be great to see his future grandchild carry on that tradition.
“The military offers so many ways to better yourself,” said Craig Goldsberry.
In typical father-son fashion, Craig Goldsberry gave his son one piece of advice: “Stay in until you can retire. You won’t regret it.”