Family’s thoughts go to far-away Iraq

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals His mission to help liberate a nation and sow the seeds of democracy is worth the sacrifice, he said. “This is history in the making and I am a part of it.” The couple’s second son – whose name has not been chosen yet – is due to be born in February. Each boy will have his own room in the family’s Saugus home. Bobby’s mom, Glenda Yakel, cares for Jacob when Rose is at work. Yakel’s other son Louie Roybal, 26, also is a Marine stationed in Iraq. The two left four days apart in September and serve in separate units. Rose, 34, appreciates Yakel’s support. She said it is depressing sometimes that her mate is so far away. Rose works full time managing the men’s department at the Wal-Mart store in the Valencia Marketplace, but plans to take some time off after the baby is born. SAUGUS – Rose Roybal’s eyes may be feasting on a Thanksgiving parade of food and family but her thoughts will float to a hostile land thousands of miles away. Her husband, Marine Lance Cpl. Bobby Roybal, 24, is stationed in Iraq and will not be joining her and their baby son, Jacob, or the family for dinner. Rose is six months pregnant. “It’s sad he’s not going to participate in Thanksgiving at home with us,” Rose said. “He’s doing his job over there and I’m proud of him.” Serving his country does not immunize her husband from missing his family. “Sometimes I feel like I am not doing my job as a father and as a husband. I’m not there when I should be,” the soldier said in an e-mail Tuesday from Iraq to the Daily News. “I worry for her and my son but I don’t tell them. I try my best to be strong when I talk to them on the phone. “I hate that I am missing Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas,” he said. “But I am truly doing a great thing over here in Iraq.” The couple, married three years, met at Wal-Mart when Bobby worked in the automotive section. The reservist is a mechanic for Frontier Toyota in Valencia. He is due to return home in April, but may be re-deployed. Roybal phones home when he can, usually about every three days. Rose must wait for the phone to ring because the soldiers cannot receive incoming calls from family. “He has to get in line,” Rose said. “Sometimes he stands for three hours for a chance to have the phone.” The soothing sound of his voice bridges 10,000 miles. Sometimes the conversations last 10 minutes, other times they stretch to half an hour. “I hear his voice. It’s a nice thing thinking he’s close,” she said. He asks how she is feeling, if the baby is moving inside her, what the doctor said, what Jacob is up to and what she is doing over the weekend. They discovered they both have colds. She asks how “work” is. “He always says everything is OK,” she said. “If there are three to four days when he doesn’t call I get all nervous. I start making all this up in my mind.” Yakel spends a couple hundred dollars a month on calling cards so her son can phone her and his 13-year-old sister Nikki Yakel, and his wife and son. Jacob often commandeers the line. At the sound of his dad’s voice, he makes faces, says “mama,” “dada” and “poppa” and sometimes lets out a scream. “(Bobby says) ‘behave for mommy,”‘ Rose said. Rose and Jacob will eat Thanksgiving Day lunch at Yakel’s home in Canyon Country. Dinner will be shared in Palmdale with Rose’s side of the family. Two brothers live there, her mom is making the trip from Calexico and another brother is bringing his wife and kids from Georgia. Bobby’s presence will be felt, and he will think of them. “To tell you the truth, it is hard being away from the entire family,” his message said. Judy O’Rourke, (661) 257-5255 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more