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Idaho Air National Guard family: It's an honor to serve

Posted: 6:27 PM, May 01, 2016
Updated: 2017-04-30 04:04:29Z

Just a few weeks ago, nearly 200 Idaho Air National Guard Members stepped onto a plane and headed for the Middle East.

While some families are familiar with how life operates during a deployment, it's the first time for others.

Six On Your Side sat down with a local father who not only knows what it's like to serve but has two sons who have followed in his footsteps.

The Pound family's military service goes back five generations.

Kevin Pound's father, Lyle, loved the Treasure Valley area so much after serving at Gowen Field he moved to Nampa after retiring. His family followed suit in more ways than one.

"The brothers, the sisters, the cousins, the nieces, the nephews, we're all Air Force, except for my daughter who went into the Army," Kevin Pound said.

Kevin Pound's oldest son, Kyle, is currently deployed with the 124th Wing of the Idaho Air National Guard, while his 22-year-old son, Kody, is wrapping up his Air Guard training right now.

It's anticipated that Kody will be deployed with the next round.

Knowing what it's like to serve, their veteran father has faith in their return.

"They're in my thoughts all the time but I don't sit and really lose any sleep over it," Kevin Pound said. "I've had a chance to meet the NCO's out there that they work with and you couldn't ask for a finer group of men and women."

The Idaho Air National Guard makes sure that families are prepared for life after a deployment before they set foot on the plane.

Through one of their partner support programs, the Yellow Ribbon group plans events for families.

An event is planned soon thereafter the deployment to make sure families are settling into their new routines.

The same group also plans their welcome home celebration.

Plus, the services don't end when they come home.

"Everyone, the members and their families, are both adjusting to a new normal," explained Technical Sgt. Heather Speidel with the Idaho Air National Guard. "Reintegration can sometimes be difficult because you've gotten used to not being around someone for six months."

Prior to the departure, each family received a Deployment Resource Guide. It has all the numbers and information on Air Guard services including a program to help kids who long for their parent.

Families can also request phone cards, financial assistance and gain access to free counseling.