The Couple That Deploys Together…

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The 16th Engineer Brigade of the Ohio Army National Guard Reserves will leave for Iraq in the next few weeks. And of the 140 guard troops in the Columbus-based company, there are four married couples.

Private Sam Craigo says he joined the Guard to be with his wife, Staff Sergeant Bobbi Craigo. Sam says he didn’t want to stay home alone again.

“She’s been deployed once before. The kids were still in high school then. The kids are older now, graduated so, we found out she was going again so I decided to join so I could go with her,” says Sam.

When the couple talks about his time spent in boot camp, his wife Bobbi notes some of the cadets were younger than their own children. But it’s an experience Sam says he enjoyed.

“Well I turned 40 while I was at basic training and they made me do push-ups for my birthday, so It was all good though, I had a great time. Don’t regret anything of it. It was all good, I loved it,” says Sam.

For Sergeants First Class Richard and Stacey Spellman, the military is what brought them together. Stacey tells the couple’s “how-we-met” story:

“We actually met at a military school out in North Dakota. And I was in West Virginia and he was from Ohio. And I moved out here to go to college and work full time for the military,” says Stacey.

First Lieutenant Douglas Franz and his wife Major Jenifer Franz were originally in different companies. Douglas says this meant they were scheduled for separate deployments.

“So we talked to some of the people above us and said, you know, if we have the opportunity to deploy together, we would like to try to do that. So we did, and I transferred units and came to this unit,” says Douglas.

Specialist Allison Ball and Sergeant Garrison Ball were high school sweethearts at Westerville South. Both are 23 years old, and will have been married one year in a few weeks. Garrison says the couple wasn’t sure they would deploy together.

“I actually got a full time job working here for the brigade in March. And then, she tried to volunteer for the deployment. And after a few months, she got on the list,” says Garrison.

There are about 1,000 Ohio National Guard Troops currently in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Guard doesn’t track how many married couples are in the service.

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