Hero Salute: 256th Staff Sergeant talks about leaving post to become caregiver after wife’s breast cancer diagnosis

Hero Salute

(KLFY) Louisiana’s 256th Infantry Brigade Combat team is deployed to the Middle East. But what happens when a tragedy strikes at home? One soldier found out.

“She found a lump in her breast in April and by mid June we were having surgery. She did a double mastectomy.”

Staff Sergeant Brian Shettlesworth notified his commanding officers when he got devastating news. His 29- year-old wife and mother of his three children had breast cancer.

“I said you can have overnight to think about it, and he said no I’m trying to think of the fastest way to get you outta here.”

He says, despite it being a logistical nightmare, they were able to get him home as quickly as possible.

“It was a huge relief for my wife for me just to be here.”

The next step on their journey is radiation, but he says keeping a positive attitude and staying active has been key to her healing.

“Everything that could have gone right I think went right as far as her finding it early, cancer not getting into her lymph nodes and everything.”

He admits there was some guilt at leaving his unit before their time was up. But he says their support has bolstered his resolve.

“The accomodation that those guys showed me just reaffirms that i’m in this for the long haul. i’m gonna retire from this group of guys.”

Shettlesworth has enjoyed spending the summer with his children, ages four, nine, and ten and looks forward to getting back to his national guard service when the brigade returns to the states in the fall.

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