Army SPC able to take time off for son's birthdays - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Army SPC able to take time off for son's birthdays

Lawton_While most of us have wrapped up the holiday celebrations, one Lawton family is celebrating their time together right now.  Specialist Shaketa Ward of Lawton returned home for her son's birthday after being deployed for most of his life.  And, not only is this her son's third birthday, it's also Shaketa's third deployment. 

Shaketa makes it her priority to see her son on his birthday and has managed to be home for every one.  Army mothers have the option of taking leave to give birth and celebrate birthdays.  And, since she's been gone the majority of his life, she makes it a point to come home this time every year.

While Shaketa is in Iraq, it's the love and commitment that she has for her son that keeps her going.  Being on active duty in the Army is the sacrifice she makes in order to give young Jalind a good life.  And, part of that sacrifice is leaving him in the care of his grandparents.

Grandfather Charles Williams devotes his time to being Jalind's caretaker.  He says he keeps Jalind's memory of his mother fresh by showing him pictures of the things they did together.  He says these are the memories Jalind will look back on.  Still, as her father, he worries.  "We worry about her.  I'm a retiree myself, so I know what she's going through over there," he says.  "And, you worry you'll get bad news."

For now, Shaketa will cherish the memories she is making with her son.  She won't fear war or let it overpower her commitment to her son.  "That's what I fear the most," she says.  "I don't fear dying or anything.  I fear my son may not remember me." 

And, Jalind's father is deployed, too.  However, he was unable to make it home for this birthday milestone.  Shaketa will return to Iraq next Wednesday, but her tour will end just in time for Jalind's fourth birthday.

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