will observe Veterans Day with her
kids after two tours in Iraq
Tina Vitale, 26, a member of the U.S. Army Reserves.
, of Alliance, returned home at the end of October after serving her
second tour of duty in Iraq.
After two tours of duty in Iraq, Vitale, 26, a member of the Army Reserves, is back home in Alliance.
A 2000 graduate of Marlington High School, she joined the Ohio National Guard during her senior year and in August 2002, joined the Reserves.
Antonio was 18 months old when Vitale
was first deployed to Iraq for a tour that lasted 22 months.
Although her son was in good hands with her father, Tony Vitale, caring for Antonio, Tina Vitale
said, "I cried and cried; it was the worst day of my life."
"When I came home he
was 3 years old, potty trained and feeding himself," said Vitale
, who realized all the moments of growth and change she
had missed in her
young son's life.
Anastacia was 13 months old when Vitale
was sent back to Iraq in October 2007 for 12 months.
Now a toddler, "who is off the bottle, walking and talking," Vitale
said it is taking more time for she
daughter to renew their bond than it did for mom and son.
Anastacia would look at her
grandfather saying "Mommy?
would come up close to me then step back.
is really cute and funny," added Vitale
, who is enjoying the moments.
When this tour ended, Vitale
came home to even bigger changes in Antonio's life, finding he
own bath water, picks out his
own clothes, and helps out with Anastacia."
Sgt. (E-5) Tina Vitale
underwent basic training at Ft. Jackson, S.C., and took advanced individual training at Ft. Leonardwood, Mo.
has three military occupational specialties -- truck driver, supply sergeant and human resources/administration, all of which required additional weeks of training.
Vitale served first with the 762nd Transportation Co. out of North Canton, "moving around a lot, living on the road" in Iraq.
This past year in Iraq she served with the 327th Military Police Battalion from Arlington Heights, Ill., based at Camp Ramadi and Camp Taji.
In civilian life, Vitale works as a unit administrative technician with the U.S. Army Department in North Canton, a job she held two years before being deployed.
plans to return to work in January.
About being back home, Vitale
said, "There is no way I can put it into words.
It's amazing being able to be part of their lives again.
It is wonderful."
People who don't have anyone who is or has been deployed don't understand the sacrifice involved, Vitale
Posted by Gary November 11, 2008
Glad to see you home Tina
... Big Gary