Military Ties Further Bond Oklahoma Soldiers Who Serve With Family

Tuesday, June 12th 2012, 6:25 pm
By: Craig Day

Nearly 200 Oklahoma National Guard members out of Broken Arrow and Muskogee will leave later this summer.

Some members of the 120th engineering battalion are getting their machine-gun qualification training at Camp Gruber.

Soon they will deploy to Afghanistan.

Cody and Amanda Wilson just got married May 20.

Basically, a trip with the military is their honeymoon.

"Mountains, mountains, snow, sand," Cody Wilson said. "We got the beach. Large beach, no ocean."

When Amanda was set to deploy, Cody, who was just back from a deployment with the 45th, Infantry, volunteered to go back to Afghanistan with the nearly 200 soldiers from Oklahoma who are now deploying.

Reporter: "So you would rather be in Afghanistan with her, than at home worrying about her?

Cody Wilson: "Most definitely, Most definitely."

While the newlyweds are serving, father and son Mike and Michael Dunson are getting ready for their third deployment together.

"He's getting old, can't move as fast, so I have to be there to get him up and make sure everything is all right," Michael Dunson said. He's getting old age, so I'll be there to take care of that."

His father joked right back.

"I've got to take a lot of money because it doesn't matter how old they are, they still ask you for money," Mike Dunson said.

Reporter: "Even in a war zone?"

Mike Dunson: "Yes."

The 120th will clear roads in Afghanistan, including locating and removing IEDs.

Once the soldiers from Oklahoma get to Afghanistan, they'll join soldiers from four other states: Florida, North Carolina, Missouri and Arkansas.

The soldiers will cooperate with the Afghan National Army to help with their transition to handling their own security.

For the Oklahoma soldiers finishing up their training, they're ready for the mission to begin.

"As soon as we get it started, the sooner we get back," Mike Dunson said.

The Wilson's still have plans to enjoy the newlywed period.

"We plan on going to the Bahamas for a couple of weeks down there. We'll have plenty of money saved up by then," Cody Wilson said.

The soldiers will be deployed for nine months.

A deployment ceremony will be held on June 30th at the Mabee Center on the Oral Roberts University campus.