It's a dangerous job, so the days leading up to deployment is tough on soldiers and their families.
First Lieutenant George Lopez will be in charge of 35 soldiers as they clear routes for U.S. Forces in Afghanistan.
The 25-year-old will take on big responsibilities for the next year, but this weekend he's packing and telling his loved ones goodbye.
His gear is heavy, but the most important thing 1st Lt. George Lopez is packing barely weighs anything: a picture of him and his mother.
"That's gonna be the biggest thing, is taking pictures with me just to reminisce about those times and telling myself at the end of it all, come back and things will be back," said Lt. George Lopez.
The St. Mary's high school grad and former Sun Devil will leave behind his parents, Sylvia and George, as well as his wife of two years, Maria. All three are coping with the same fear.
"Him not coming back," said Maria Lopez.
Maria will live with her parents in Texas for the year. Sylvia and George plan to take trips in hopes that travel will take their mind of their youngest child's deployment.
"We're very close. It's always been that way from the day I had him in my arms, from the day he was born, I knew he was my special baby," said Sylvia Lopez.
"Being very close to them and being the youngest one is kind of rough because they've been my backbone all through college when I was at ASU, you know, making sure I grew up the right way," said Lt. George Lopez.
Lt. George Lopez says he'll miss watching Arizona State football games and reality TV shows with his wife.
"Being apart is hard but we'll get through it," said Maria Lopez.
Lopez is proud to serve his country and all he asks for in return is that people in our community continue to support the troops.
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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