WEST FORT HOOD — As the four Krpan children waited for their father’s deployment ceremony to begin Friday, they took turns playing with a “flat daddy” doll.
“I’m gonna take it everywhere except for school,” said 9-year-old Kaleb Krpan.
He pointed to the top of the doll’s head where the hair had been cut off to better reflect the image of Cpl. Jacob Krpan, a heavy equipment truck driver with the 96th Transportation Company, 49th Transportation Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command.
“It’s going to go on our adventures with us,” said Kristen Krpan, the corporal’s wife.
Contrary to his 5-year-old daughter Emily’s belief that her dad was going off to fight zombies to protect Fort Hood — she’s overheard her parents watching the TV show the “Walking Dead” — Jacob Krpan was one of about 120 soldiers in his company to deploy to Afghanistan on Friday morning.
The unit is expected to spend the next nine months providing heavy support transportation assets and gun crews to Camp Leatherneck in Regional Command South, said Capt. Wesley Fink, company commander. Soldiers returned from a similar mission in the same area 13 months ago.
“It’s something they’re very familiar with; however, the environment changes,” he said. “Soldiers have been training for about a year.”
It’s the company’s eighth deployment in support of the global war on terror.
“We are excited for what new day we are helping to bring about,” Fink said, addressing soldiers during the colors-casing ceremony at the West Fort Hood Physical Fitness Center.
To stay strong during the first long separation of their 13-year marriage, the Krpans took advantage of couple’s counseling offered by the unit. They said they learned to express goals for deployment and how to best communicate from afar.
“I wanted to make sure she’s good to go and she’s got what she needs,” Jacob Krpan said. “Also to make sure (the kids) are OK.”