A young National Guardsman on deployment in Iraq wouldn’t typically expect to bump into his dad there.
But if the soldier’s father is also with the Guard and also deployed in the middle east, it could happen.
So it did – literally – for a pair of Texas County residents during the last week of July. And the son never saw it coming.
While going about his appointed guard duty tasks with the 1139th Military Police Co. of Harrisonville in the main office at Al Asad Air Base about 60 miles west of Baghdad, Spc. Adam Suda was somewhat suddenly bumped in the chest by the body of a man who was facing away from him. Adam then did a triple take before fully realizing he was standing in front of his father, Doug.
A full-time National Guard Master Sergeant at Fort Leonard Wood, Doug has been stationed since April at Camp Buehring in Kuwait working for the 3rd Army. His duties training units in Kuwait and southern Iraq allowed him to be at Al Asad and set up the surprise visit with Adam.
“We caught him fully off guard,” Doug said. “It was the best thing in the world. You couldn’t pay me any thing to take that experience away from me.” Doug was able to remain at Al Asad for five days. On July 29, the duo flew a flag in honor of Doug’s wife and Adam’s mother, Kim, and then sent her a certificate to com memorate the occasion.
Adam, a 2008 Houston High School graduate whose home unit is the 2175th MP Co. in Hannibal, had his year-long deployment end in Au gust. He is back at home in Success tending to a more normal lifestyle, including things like enjoying the company of his wife, Alyssa, and their six-month old daughter, Alexis, spending weekends with his Nation al Guard cohorts and competing in the annual Labor Day weekend de molition derby in West Plains.
Adam said he’ll never forget the time he and his father met in the 115-degree heat of the Iraqui desert.
“It was pretty neat,” he said. “Everybody in my unit thought it was cool, too.” “It’s very unusual,” Doug said. “I mean, what are the chances that a parent and a son would be there like that? It happens, but it’s definitely unusual.” Doug, who lives with Kim near Success, joined the Guard in 1983 and was deployed to Germany with a Wisconsin outfit in 1986. When he returns from Kuwait in October, he plans to retire from the military.
The Sudas are a military family to a great extent. Kim works for Mili tary Services Personnel Corp. as a ci vilian contractor for the 43rd Recep tion Battalion on Fort Leonard Wood.
Using a program with connections to all 50 states, she helps incoming National Guard soldiers obtain nec essary paperwork or documents they might be missing.
Doug is glad he’ll be able to stay home when his 28-year military stint comes to close.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said.
“It’s not hard to deploy. The hard part is being away from your friends and family.
“Being over here is an experience nobody wants to go through but no body will ever forget. It makes us appreciate what we have back home.
In a lot of ways, we do not realize how good we have it back in the states.”