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Idaho Soldier Heads for Iraq, Despite Family Illness

Idaho Soldier Heads for Iraq, Despite Family Illness

Posted - Nov. 14, 2004 at 4:31 p.m.



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John Hollenhorst reportingFor every soldier in Iraq, many sacrifices have been made. But it's an especially poignant sacrifice for a Sergeant who left Utah today, headed for war.

Devin Braithwaite would almost certainly have been excused from going to Iraq because of family hardship. If he'd asked. But he didn't ask.

He's the father of four boys and a girl. His wife had a liver transplant last year and still has a serious liver disease.

His 13-year old daughter is living at the Ronald McDonald House while being treated for a brain tumor. It returned four years after Ashley first had surgery.

Sergeant Braithwaite says his Idaho Falls community has always rallied behind his family in times of trouble. And now it's time to return their sacrifice.

SSgt. J. Devin Braithwaite/ Idaho National Guard: "People have always been there to help me. And I really want to have a chance to serve and help. I want to serve my country and I want to serve the people in Iraq."

He had a last hug with his daughter and the rest of the family in Salt Lake this morning. Then he boarded a plane to rejoin his Idaho National Guard unit headed for Iraq.

Johnna Braithwaite/ Idaho Falls: "It's sad. It's sad to see anybody have to go off to war. But it's a good thing for our country. If we didn't have good people like him, where would we be?"

Ashley Braithwaite/ Cancer Victim: "It's hard. But, like, you kind of get used to it."

Ashley is currently undergoing radiation therapy because her tumor is inoperable. Sgt. Braithwaite's unit is expected to be in Iraq by Christmas.

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