MUSKOGEE, Okla. — Families are thinking about their loved ones overseas as tensions rise in the Middle East, both here in Oklahoma and across the country.
Even after three tours of duty, Victor Lezama still worries about his friends and family stationed all over the world.
"When you're in, your mindset is totally different from when you get out. I'm a father, I have kids, so it's different now these days. I worry about my niece and my cousins and what they're going to go through, because I know exactly what they're going to go through," Lezama said. "When we go and serve overseas, it's not just us serving. It's our family members as well."
Victor Lezama served in the Army and Marines for 20 years, doing three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, he runs The Barracks in Muskogee, helping veterans get back on their feet.
When he sees the rising tensions in the Middle East, he thinks back to his own service.
"Any time my mom saw a helicopter getting shot down, CNN was there, she would turn the TV off. She'd cry for days because we were blacked out, we couldn't reach our families and let them know we're okay," Lezama said. "The families are also going through a lot. It's not just the soldiers, it's the family members and the friends as well. They all worry about us."
But he says it's one of the many risks service members take when they enlist.
"It's making a sacrifice to do something that you set your whole life up for," Kaylin Riede said. She is a specialist in the Army National Guard. "It's not just serving your country, it's serving God, it's serving your family - it's everything you put your life into."
Lezama says troops' families know their kids best, and know how well trained service members are: "and when it comes push to shove, they're going to do whatever it takes, and they're going to be awesome at it."
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