Madera couple to deploy, leave young daughter behind
Madera High graduate and Army National Guard Sgt. Erika Aldana was ready to go on a yearlong deployment in Afghanistan with her boyfriend in 2009 — until she found out she was pregnant.
Today, less than a month before their daughter’s second birthday, the couple will leave Madera to spend nearly a year in Afghanistan together.
Erika, 27, and Cpl. Samuel Aldana, 25, who wed over the phone during Samuel’s first Afghanistan deployment, will get to live together during their time in Afghanistan. They hope being together will make it easier to cope with having to leave their 23-month-old daughter, Alessandra, behind.
“I love the fact that we’re going to go together,” Samuel said. “It’s hard because (Alessandra) is not there, but we’ll be there for each other.” ...