A Message Home

A man walks by the entrance to Kuwait's Armed Forces Hospital in Kuwait on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2002, shortly after two wounded U.S. Army soldiers were airlifted to the hospital.
One of the most difficult challenges for deployed soldiers is being far away from family and friends. Since communication is limited, The Early Show co- anchor Harry Smith has taken an opportunity to connect two soldiers in Kuwait with their families at home.

On Thursday, Private First Class Dave Mazzetta spoke with his family in Tucson, Ariz., and Sgt. Theodore Church spoke with his wife who was with their two children in Columbus, Ga.

According to Mazzetta's mother, Michelle, her son signed up with the U.S. Army when he turned 17. As a senior in high school, Mazzetta felt it was his responsibility to serve his country. One week after graduation, he went to boot camp at Fort Benning, Ga.

"I don't know what I'm going to be doing. But I know what I'm going to be fighting for," he said"And that is the title of liberty. In memory of our God and our religion and our freedom, our peace, our wives and our children and my brothers. My brothers here are red dogs."

This is the second time he has been in Kuwait. His first time was during the summer of 2002 when he was stationed there for six months for desert training. Though he has never been in a combat situation, his mother says he has been commended for his work. He was even named "Soldier of the Month."

A jokester Mazzetta said he has eaten "a little lizard and camel and odd insects, maybe a few bugs now and then," when his father asked him, if he has been eating exotic foods. "No, nothing odd out of the ordinary," he said but noted he is looking forward eating pizza at home. His two-year enlistment is up June 1.

Sgt. Theodore Church goes by the nick-name of Tuc, according to his wife, Mindi. The couple has two children; baby Dorian and little 2-year-old Maryn.

"Dorian is rolling over now. He's gained a lot of weight. He's up to 14 pounds. Maryn's doing really well," Mrs. Church told her husband. The last time they spoke was on Feb. 3 for about 10 minutes.

Church's military history includes three years in the Navy, a one-year break and then six years in the Army.

Mrs. Church says the Army intrigued her husband as a young boy because his father was in the Army. He grew up with the notion that to serve in the Army was a good thing. She says he particularly enjoys doing his job when he is fighting.

Church voluntarily signed up for the military when he was living in Dayton, Ohio, his wife says. He decided to speak with a recruiter who offered him exactly what he wanted: calvary scout work. So he accepted. The calvary scouts drive the Humvees and conduct reconnaissance work.

Soon he was off to boot camp at Fort Knox, then to Korea for one year, onto Texas for another year and now the family resides in Georgia. Church left for Kuwait in September of last year. His enlistment ends in 2004.