(KLFY) — Soldiers with the 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team have been away from home and their families for eight months. But there are some exceptions.
A 23-year veteran of the Louisiana National Guard shipped out with his brigade in November. But he’s not without family.
“Initially, when he wanted to enlist, I actually tried to talk him out of it, but of course, like all teenagers, he won’t listen to dad,” said 1SG Grant Bounds.
Six years later, Grant Bounds and his son, Specialist Blake Bounds, are deployed to the middle east at the same time.
“I’m glad he did it,” said Grant Bounds. “It definitely matured him as a person and especially into a soldier.”
With the brigade divided between four countries overseas, the two don’t see each other every day, but they are able to spend time together helps ease the sting of separation from their family.
“Being able to go see him once a week, or something like that, that helps keep us closer, I think,” said Grant Bounds. “It helps mom back home more than it does us.”
The father and son were also able to share a special moment in Blake’s life.
“I was in the DFAC one day, getting dinner, and me and the chaplain got to talking, and I was like, ‘Hey sir, is there any way we can do a baptism out here?’ And he said, ‘You know what? If you want to do a baptism, we’ll find a way to do it,'” said Blake Bounds.
“I said, ‘Well, there’s no way I’m going to miss that,’ so I went to his location, spent a few days over there, and was able to participate in that baptism, and it was definitely a proud papa moment,” said Grant Bounds.
They were able to share Blake’s baptism video with mom, his sister, and his brother. The family ties are clearly knit tightly for these two soldiers, and Blake Bounds says that was why he made the decision to enlist.
“I felt like I had this calling, like family tradition,” said Blake Bounds. “My dad was in the army. My grandpa’s in the army.”
Grant Bounds is in the infantry. Blake Bounds is a cook. I did ask if he had made a gumbo for the other soldiers yet — he is a Louisiana boy after all. He said it’s been too hot, but it’s definitely on the to-do list if the weather cools off.