NARRAGANSETT – After serving in Iraq from 2008 to 2009, two local Narragansett veterans are being deployed once again this May to Afghanistan, having to leave behind their first baby.
Their deployment to Afghanistan will be the second time both Michael and Marie Johnson go overseas. But this time will be the first time they have to leave their eight month year old daughter behind, who will stay with her maternal grandmother.
“I can’t even stand leaving her when I’m doing field exercises. It will be a real awakening, but this is what we signed up for,” Marie said.
“I’m not happy to go to Afghanistan,” Michael said.
The Johnsons met in Colorado in December 2009 after being a part of the same unit, the Second Brigade Combat Team in the Fourth Infantry Division. Because they were both deployed in Iraq, they held a duo proxy marriage, which is licensed in Montana. Michael said proxy marriages are common, in which one spouse is deployed overseas in the military, but Montana is the only state to allow due proxy marriages. In a duo proxy marriage, two military officers can be deployed and get married through an online system. Michael and Marie Johnson have come back to Narragansett during their leave to visit family before being deployed overseas in May. The young couple normally live in Colorado, where they are stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado.
After coming home from Iraq in 2009, Michael said transitioning to civilian life was not too difficult.
“I was pretty happy to come back,” Michael said. “Usually when you come back you have a lot of money. You’re financially pretty good. As soon as we got back we bought a house in Colorado.”
Michael has been in the army for the past four years working in combat armor, while Marie has been working in the army for four and a half years working in paralegal.
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