Local News

Family Learns Soldier's Deployment Could Last Longer Than Expected

Posted July 16, 2003

— An emotional rollercoaster -- that is the only way Angela White said she can describe the last six months.

Six months ago, her husband, Gerald was deployed to Afghanistan. When will he be returning to his Fayetteville family?

"As far as talking about dates, he won't talk about it any more. He's disgusted with it," White said.

Gerald White deployed with the 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg in February. He was originally told he would not be home until August. Then things changed, and it looked like he would back in June. That date changed to July.

White, the mother of two, said she prepared their home -- and her husband's car, so everything would be just right when he came home. Last week, she learned his deployment could last into September.

The ever-changing return date has washed away her excitement.

"It's real depressing," White said. "I've gotten my hopes up so many times, then got shot right back down. So I just quit waiting on a date."

Explaining the delay to her daughter, Ashley, has been difficult.

"The only thing I want for my birthday, is him to come home," Ashley said.

Ashley's seventh birthday is Aug. 30, but her mother is not planning for a return before October. White said by looking that far ahead, she will be less disappointed if her husband is not home by then.

White said she not sure why the return date keeps changing. She said Gerald is busy in Afghanistan with ongoing missions.

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