Families Who Are Left Behind - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/27/03

Families Who Are Left Behind

NewsChannel 11 was not able to talk with any of the reservists who left Monday, but the feeling is shared by any family member who has to say goodbye to a loved one -- a feeling of concern. The Rodriguez family said goodbye to a husband and a father almost three years ago, and they haven't seen much of him since he's left.

"My husband is Maximino Rodriguez, and he's in the navy and works for the anti-terrorist team," says Sarah Rodriguez.

Sarah and her two children, April and Wesley, saw Max last month.

"We went Christmas shopping a lot, went to the mall, we went to go see a movie," remembers Wesley.

The month following 9/11, Max had no choice but to trade in his house for a 24 story ship that's four acres big. He's been gone from the arms of the people he loves the most for almost three years. And that's tough for a family to think about, especially when war is looming.

"His feelings are right now about the situation is it's hard having a family, being away from your wife and children and wanting to be a part of their lives. But if he's called up he'd gladly go," said Sarah.

Visits home are few and far between.

"My children probably see their father less than children of divorced parents," says Sarah.

Since Max has been away, he's been home three times.

"Who gets dad the most?" NewsChannel 11 asked the kids. They pointed at their mother and Mom laughs. "That's not true," she says.

Time with this man, a father, a husband is priceless, but the goodbyes go deeper than that.

"Every time, he leaves, we'll turn around and do this which means we're still in your hearts. It means I love you," says Sarah.

Sarah Rodriguez says if you're a wife and your husband is gone to fight the war on terrorism and you need a little support, you can call her at (806) 792-3363. She said she'd be glad to help.

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