TREVORTON, Pa. -- Kevin Dewald is a U.S. Army staff sergeant from Northumberland County. He and his wife and their two children moved to Fort Bragg, North Carolina this past July.
On New Year's Eve, Dewald found out he would be among the first 650 servicemen and women to be deployed to Iraq. Newswatch 16 spoke with Marissa via Skype on Wednesday.
"You're in a state of shock. That's how it is, especially for someone who hasn't gone through this. I have once, but like I said, this deployment is completely different. He was up and gone in eight hours," Marissa said.
Staff Sgt. Dewald had just eight hours to pack his things and say goodbye to his wife and two young daughters before leaving for deployment to Baghdad, Iraq.
"I just want everyone back home to really realize these are real people's lives. Everything that you see on the news and everything like that, you see everything that is going on, but until you live this life of having someone you love ripped away from you within hours, and they're completely across the world," added Marissa.
The Trevorton native was deployed to Iraq on December 31, just two days after President Donald Trump ordered the killing of Iran's top military leader.
Marissa, a Shamokin native, says this deployment just feels different.
"My husband told my girls, 'daddy is going to be gone for a long time just like last time.' It's horrible because we don't have a timeline at all. I don't know how long my husband is going to be over there. I don't know. We're in the dark," she said.
Kevin and Marissa Dewald have two young daughters, ages 4 and 5, too young to really understand what's happening. Marissa says the president's address to the nation earlier in the day that all soldiers are safe was the news she needed.
Sgt. Dewald is not allowed to have a cell phone or computer because of the nature of the mission.
"You have to put on a strong face. You have to hold it down here. When they call, you have to act like everything's OK and things like that," Marissa added.
Marissa says she doesn't have an address yet to send her husband care packages. Once she does get an address, she will be sending packages with snacks and hygiene products to Kevin and the rest of his platoon. Marissa says you can drop any donations off at Ale House in Shamokin.
You can also send donations to Marissa in North Carolina. For her contact information, please email email@example.com.