Pvt. Duncan Schneider has more reason to behave himself in uniform than most other members of the military — his platoon sergeant is also his mother-in-law.
He says he doesn’t mind, since he can serve his country with a family member who also has experience in the military, Sgt. 1st Class Lisa Mesteth.
“I feel very good about it,” Schneider said Sunday at a mobilization ceremony for the Oregon Army National Guard’s 224th Engineer Company, which is about to begin training for a year in Iraq. “It’s a family thing.”
Minutes after the mobilization ceremony he married his longtime sweetheart, Delaina Aguilera. They have a two-month-old daughter.
“That’ll be the hardest part, being away from them,” said the 20-year-old combat engineer, who enlisted less than a year ago.
After two months of training at Fort McCoy, Wis., the unit will go to Iraq for a year to build and maintain roads and other infrastructure, said Capt. Mike Braibish, an Army National Guard spokesman.
While Aguilera will be without a mother or a husband for the infant’s first year, Mesteth said she’s not worried.
“We’ve got great family support, a lot of people to help out,” said Mesteth, a full-time reservist.