Randall Anderson took his family on a dinner cruise and a camping trip to make the most of his 10 days of pre-deployment leave.
That small slice of normalcy has ended for Anderson and others in the 81st Brigade Combat Team of the Washington National Guard. Now comes the difficult part. For Anderson, a 33-year-old specialist from Puyallup, that doesn’t necessarily mean entering a war zone.
"I’m not nervous when it comes to doing my job," he said. "I’m just not looking forward to leaving my family behind."
Anderson spent his last hours before deployment with his wife and three children – aged 4, 2 and 4 months – at a farewell ceremony at Game Farm Park in Auburn.
"It’s a little scary," his wife, Jenny, said. "It’s a little stressful. But it’s kind of exciting at the same time. It’s cool that he’s going to serve his country. The kids consider him their hero."