Oklahoma soldiers prepare to deploy to Afghanistan

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Reported by: Sharon Phillips
Updated: 10/12/2012 7:36 pm Published: 10/12/2012 3:32 pm

Camp Gruber ---

More Oklahoma soldiers will soon be heading to Afghanistan.
Over 100 members of the Oklahoma Army National Guard’s 1245th in McAlester will deploy to the northern part of that country later this year.

Keeping their bodies in excellent physical condition is vital to being able to withstand the rigors of combat overseas. Their jobs are physical and they must be too. These men and women will be responsible for transporting supplies, as well as their safety and the safety of others.

"I'll miss my family, but I'm ready to put all of this training I've got to use,” says Sgt. Chad Chudoba.

He hails from Del City and is a married father of two small children. Chudoba has served in the military for five years, but this will be his first deployment.

"I’ve been talking to my son. He's old enough to understand what's going on and I think he's really proud of me,” says Chudoba.

His biggest fear is not for his own life, but that his young daughter won’t know him when he returns.

"She is only one, and I'm afraid she might not remember me,” he says.

Leaving his loved ones for a year won’t be easy, but the call to serve his country burns inside him. Fellow soldier, Samantha Maddox is from Tulsa and just got married a few months ago. She says her family is more worried about her safe return than she is.

“They're just nervous that I'm going over in a dangerous area, and they just don't want anything to happen to me,” she says.

The soldiers will leave for Fort Hood, Texas in six weeks and then head to Afghanistan for 9 months. The unit deployed to Iraq back in 2008 along with members of the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

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