12/08/05 — Airman's family hopes for call from Korea under tree

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Airman's family hopes for call from Korea under tree

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on December 8, 2005 1:48 PM

Sherri Madrigal alternates driving her husband's big truck and her compact car to work each week. That way, his vehicle will be in good shape when he comes home, which she hopes will be soon.

Her husband, Master Sgt. Rob Madrigal, is on remote assignment in Kunsan Air Base in Korea.

He won't be home for Christmas. The only contact she has had with him is a filmed greeting that aired on a local television station's newscast Wednesday.

"We all bought him presents, and we'll send them to him this weekend," she said.

Sherri Madrigal

News-Argus/Bonnie Edwards

For Sherri Madrigal, Christmas morning will be full of presents and family and the hope that she will hear from her husband, who will spend this Christmas serving his country in Korea.

The last of eight packages will arrive this weekend when her sister comes from Cary. Saturday is the last day packages can be sent and still reach their destinations out of the country by Dec. 25.

She also bought an album that has separate tapes on which to record messages. She said during the family's Christmas celebration, everyone will record a message to Rob, and she will send it after the holidays.

Sherri's father is retired military, and she graduated from high school in Goldsboro. She had three children when she and Rob married about a year and a half ago.

This is their first Christmas apart.

The children will open presents in the morning, and the family will go to visit relatives, where they will eat and share the holiday.

And they will hope to hear from Rob.

"We'll go over there Christmas Eve, too, and they'll be able to open one present each from a distant relative," she said. "Probably he'll be able to call me Christmas Day, or I'll be able to call him."

The couple will be reunited for two weeks next month when Sherri flies out on Jan. 29, the day before her birthday, and crosses the international date line to land in Seoul, Korea, on Jan 30.

"So I'll miss my birthday," she said.

The whole family reunites in April, when Sherri and the children fly to meet Rob in Hawaii.

And the vacation will give Sherri and Rob a chance to catch up on a milestone they missed.

"That's going to be our anniversary present," she said. "We didn't get a honeymoon. He was deployed six weeks after we got married."