Michael Byrd became the father of a baby boy two weeks ago, which makes leaving for Afghanistan all the more difficult.
Pfc. Michael Byrd says, “I really don’t want to go just because of that, but I have to show for it when I get back, makin’ it better for him.”
Jill Byrd, the stepmother, says, “We're very excited that he has joined to go serve our country, but we're going to miss him, miss him terribly.”
Michael Byrd, Sr., the father, says, “I feel proud of him and it’s a decision that he made.”
Michael is one of around 75 Guardsmen and women from the 3rd Battalion, 124th Infantry who headed out Monday for Camp Shelby in Mississippi.
Once there, the largest state owned training site in the nation will be their home for the next two months as they prepare for their overseas mission, training and protecting the Afghan army.
They will join almost 1,200 troops from the state of Florida headed to Afghanistan. The Guardsmen and women plan to return to the U.S. in August of 2006, more than a year away, but many already know what they'll do when they get back.