First Father’s Day for Army National Guard couple

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LIZ ZAMORA

Missouri military dad Willie Vanhousen celebrated his first Father’s Day with his new son. He and his wife Lateasha – both Army National Guard members based in Missouri – had their first child Alex four months ago.

It was one year ago on Father’s Day that Willie found out he was going to be a dad. Deployments to Iraq for Willie and Kosovo for Lateasha were going to separate the couple for two years. It was their new son that brought them back together.

“He is a great wonder and of course there’s the challenges too but we learn from him as much as he learns from us,” Willie said about his son Alex.

The possibility of deployment makes the time spent with his son even more precious. Willie loves his job as a father but he is ready to go serve his country if he is called up to duty.

“With things transitioning in Afghanistan at any point we could be called. We signed an oath to serve our country,” he said.

And since Lateasha missed her first deployment, she faces the reality of leaving her son.

“If it’s me it’s going to be hard because I’ll be leaving him with a new child,” Lateasha said. And as a mom we have such a tug on our hearts.”

“Every opportunity that we get, we like to give it to him, because at any given point we could be gone from anywhere from ten months to 15 months,” Willie said.

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