170 Valley soldiers set to deploy to Afghanistan

FRESNO, Calif.

"I'm taking over everything when he leaves," said Sonya Soto, whose husband is deploying. She is preparing for her toughest job yet. "This is just the beginning," she said.

In just days, Sonya will soon become, at least temporarily, a single mom to 12-year-old Kiahna and 9-year-old Marisa. Her husband, Staff Sergeant Bobby Soto has already packed his clothes and other supplies.

"Who am I going to have for support when he's gone and can I do it, can I not? It's just a lot to think about," she said.

SSG Soto has been in the Army National Guard for nearly 14 years, during that time he mostly served just one weekend a month. In 2004 he served a year-long tour in Iraq.

"I don't know how it's going to be this time... I really don't know," SSG Soto said.

This is also not the first time his unit, the 1072nd Transportation Company, has deployed. The company spent about a year in Iraq back in 2005.

"Most of the soldiers are brand new to the unit, not the same group," Captain Donald Lipscomb said his soldiers will assist with logistics and transporting supplies in northern Afghanistan.

"I do it for my family, I do it for America, I do it for my friends... I love it," SSG Soto said.

Meanwhile, Sonya is paying little attention to recent violent incidents involving us forces in Afghanistan.

"It's... it's hard. The kids... you have to try to be strong for the kids and let them know that daddy will be okay and he'll be back," she said.

A deployment ceremony is planned for the soldiers and their families on Saturday at Clovis East High School.

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