Softball players give soldier sweet send-off

Brookland Mom Gets Send-Off Before Deployment to Iraq
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

BROOKLAND, AR (KAIT) - Saying goodbye is never easy, especially when it pulls families apart.

However as one Region 8 soldier prepares to fulfill her duties by serving our country overseas, another group decided to go above and beyond to take care of the daughter she's leaving behind.

The Brookland Bearcat softball team has more than just hard work and dedication instilled in them.

Throughout the years, the teammates have developed a strong sense of family as well.

Recently, they've learned that family is not defined by distance.

Sophomore player Caitlyn Brawley had to change school districts not long ago because her mom, Sergeant First Class Melissa Turner, is being deployed to Iraq.

Bearcats coach Karen Sanders told Region 8 News that Caitlyn's former teammates didn't want her going through her mom's deployment alone.

"You have each other's back," Sanders said. "You forget about me and you love your teammates."

Tuesday before their matchup with the Harrisburg Hornets, the Bearcats put themselves on the back burner to honor Caitlyn's mom.

Sergeant Turner got to throw out the first pitch to initiate the game.

Afterward, the team prayed over her at home plate.

"Knowing that this is one less thing that I have to worry about once I leave, it's a very humbling experience," Turner said. "I know that they're here for her."

Turner will be on tour for a year in Iraq and Kuwait.

When she returns, Caitlyn will be a senior and Turner said she's excited to get to watch her daughter play softball when she comes back home.

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