By Story by 1st Lt. James Mason
111th Engineer Brigade
Camp Buehring, KU – For many Soldiers, going on an overseas deployment means leaving behind their friends and families for extended periods of time – but not always. For two West Virginia Army National Guardsmen, their paths happened to cross 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.”
Chief Warrant Officer Craig Goldsberry and Tyler Goldsberry, originally from Cross Lanes, W.Va., are both deployed to Southwest Asia. Although they are both in Kuwait together at the moment, Tyler Goldsberry is set to redeploy back to W. Va. in the coming weeks.
However, Craig Goldsberry’s new normal, being deployed with his son, is coming to an end.
“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.”
Even though they are assigned to different units and work on different parts of the base, not a day goes by that they don’t try to see each other.
Whether it is grabbing dinner at the dining facility or watching a movie on the big screen, 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 admit 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.”
Despite the fact that their military service forces them to be apart for months at a time, they agree that the National Guard has shaped them into the men they are today.
Tyler Goldsberry said that being raised in a military family provided a very different experience growing up than those of 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 that when he has children, he would love to see them continue to carry on the tradition of serving in the military.
Craig Goldsberry agrees 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.”
U.S. ARMY RESERVE
DEPT. OF DEFENSE
U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND
DEPT. OF HOMELAND SECURITY
BEST WARRIOR COMPETITION