As Deana Mobley prepared to watch her husband Mike begin his journey from Highlands Ranch to Camp Lejeune, N.C., on foot earlier this spring her …
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As Deana Mobley prepared to watch her husband Mike begin his journey from Highlands Ranch to Camp Lejeune, N.C., on foot earlier this spring her concerns were far from what possible dangers he might encounter along the way.
Instead her concerns lie in Afghanistan, where Sgt. Ryan Mobley, one of her two twin sons enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces, is deployed with the Marine Corps.
“My thoughts are always with my sons when they are deployed,” she said. “Certainly Ryan is the one who is foremost in my thoughts and my concerns right now. My Army son, Matthew, has been back for a couple years and is in college and I can only hope and pray that his unit does not deploy as scheduled next year.”
Ryan and Matthew, who enlisted right after graduation from Highlands Ranch High School in 2004, have put their mother through a total of six deployments between them, but none was worst than their simultaneous tours in 2007.
“It was a nightmare,” Deana Mobley said. “It was the only time they were both gone at the same time and the whole time they were over there was it really tough. It was hard not to be emotional, hard to focus on the things you need to focus on.”
Following a 4 a.m. phone call from Matthew and another call a month later from Ryan it got much harder for Deana.
Both calls came from Iraqi hospitals. Matthew had taken nine pieces of shrapnel in his back while riding in the turret of a humvee, while his brother, a week from the end of deployment, suffered a traumatic brain injury after the truck he was riding in was hit.
“Having them be hurt and be so far away, as a mother you always want to protect your kids and there was nothing I could do,” Deana said. “But they healed, they were taken care of very well while they were in theatre and they are back with us, although Matthew has some injuries that will be with him for the rest of his life and Ryan may as well.”
That wasn’t the only injury for Matthew that deployment either. Two weeks after the humvee attack he broke his leg in two places. He also came home with post-traumatic stress disorder, possibly caused after six of his buddies from the 82nd Airborne were killed in action in a mission he was not part of.
“That was very hard on him,” Deana said. “To this day I think that is why he continues to want to serve, in honor of his fallen brothers.”
For Deana, being a mother, it is always easier when at least one of them is home. And if Matthew does deploy next year she is praying that Ryan will remain stateside during the duration of his brother’s time overseas.
“I think if more people had to go through the experience of having a loved one serve their country they would be so much more appreciative of the efforts of our veterans,” Deana said. “I didn’t grow up in a military family, and I can tell you 90 percent of this country has absolutely no idea what is involved in being part of the military. We don’t give our veterans near enough respect.”
Editor’s Note: This is the fourth story in a series inspired by Operation Hero Trek. For more information on the mission please visit www.operationherotrek.com.
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