A Bartlesville father and son trade places in Iraq

Sunday, August 28th 2005, 7:51 pm
By: News On 6

More Oklahoma soldiers are prepared to leave for Iraq next week. The deployment is particularly difficult for a Bartlesville mother who says her husband and son have practically traded places.

News on 6 reporter Ashli Sims says Beth Craycraft needs the extra hug right now, because her family picture is incomplete. She's already sent a husband to the Middle East. "Very hard very hard trying to deal with the kids, the house and the yard, it was tough." Now, her husband David Craycraft is back by her side, but her son is leaving for Iraq. "He always admired David for being in the military and he just wanted part of it I guess."

And she says being an Army wife is nothing like being an Army mom. "I think my son, just for the simple fact that he's still my baby boy, ya'know. And it's hard cause you raise your kids to be safe." As a sergeant and a father, David Craycraft is torn. "I'm happy that he chose that but in another aspect from being in it so long, being in the area he's going to be in. I just feel that I rather have him here where he's going to be safe.”

Even 5-year-old Shelby knows exactly where her hero is going. “My bubba what his name Steven Silver, where is he Iraq and where is Iraq it's a bad place."

Beth is hoping for the best, she's relying on her computer and her webcam to bring her peace of mind. David just gave Steven some advice, soldier to soldier. “I just told him: to listen to what they tell you; and the directions they give you, do it the best you can; and just go from there and give them 150 percent and you'll be fine."

The Craycrafts say one of the toughest things about deployment is missing life's milestones. David missed Steven's graduation while he was in the Middle East, but he got to listen to the ceremony through a cell phone. Steven is missing a big chunk of his baby brother's first year, but his mom pulled some strings and he was able to be there when the baby was born.

Steven is scheduled to come home in about six months.