Region 8 Outreach For Military Families

West Memphis, AR (KAIT)-

For Rita Trigg, this marks the third time she's seen her husband off to war.

"You never get used to it," said Trigg. "It's an emotional roller coaster."

The National Guard is sending him to Iraq with the 216th MP of the 39th Infantry Brigade.

"Never in a million years did I see this coming," she said. "Only because this is his third deployment. I thought he was done after the second one, but he had a calling and he accepted it."

Petra Baugh is from Blytheville and her 21-year-old daughter is also being sent to Iraq. It's her first time to really be away from home.

"You want to run down to Mississippi and help her, but I think at the moment I'm OK because they're not in Iraq yet," said Baugh.

However, soon they will be. That's why dads, moms, husbands and wives met at the National Guard Armory in West Memphis Saturday, to attend a family readiness group, that they hope, will prepare them for some of the challenges that come with the territory, when you're part of a military family.

Belicia Sims works for the National Guard unit stationed here and knows all about the hardships of a deployment.

Her husband was sent to Iraq shortly after Belicia gave birth to one of their children.

Belicia says having a support group like this is good for the family, but, also the soldier.

"I felt like I was all alone," said Sims. "I felt like I was out there by myself. So, what we do is kind of take the place of the soldier."

It's not just the soldier on the battlefield, but the soldier in the spirit of these family members, that they say keeps them going.

"I have faith in God," said Trigg. "That's what getting me through it. I let go and I let God and that's what I live by on a daily basis and it helps."

If you're interested in being a part of the Family Readiness Group, contact Belicia Sims at or Petra Baugh at

Questions or Comments? E-mail me at