PHOENIX (FOX 10) - Out of more than 150 soldiers of the Arizona Army National Guard's 253rd unit, the odds of having a father and son deploy together are slim, but that's exactly what one Valley family is experiencing.
"I'm happy, I'm excited, and I'm very proud," said Susan Kirby.
Susan Kirby, mother of Specialist Kyle Kirby and wife of Command Sergeant Major Michael Kirby, couldn't be more proud of her boys. Her son adding it's all thanks to a fantastic support network.
"She's very fortunate to have such a loving family to take care of her and be able to support her," said Specialist Kyle Kirby.
Michael has been active for 33 years and Kyle for three.
"This is my 5th deployment, it's his first, we're fortunate to be in the same unit now, so I know mom's pretty excited about that," said Command Sergeant Major Michael Kirby.
As a Command Sergeant Major, Michael says he's excited about the engineering battalion unit that he and his son will be with in Afghanistan.
"We have a lot of soldiers that are really just doing a good job and everyone's just really excited to go over there, do what we have to do, and get home as soon as we can and bring everybody home safely," said Michael.
The two Kirby men will join more than 150 other engineers in Operation Spartan Shield.
Even though Kyle and his wife Paige got married only two months ago, he knows distance won't be easy, but he's excited for the challenge of their mission and coming back home to his new bride.
"It's going to be hard, but I know her and I will make it through it and I just can't wait to be back at home with her again," said Kyle.