South Carolina governor's husband deploys, bound for Afghanistan
FORT JACKSON, S.C. — South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and her family bid a tearful farewell to her husband Michael on Thursday as he departed with a National Guard unit for a month of training and then deployment to Afghanistan.
Capt. Michael Haley wrapped his arms around his wife and two children, ages 10 and 14, as his unit was given a send-off by several hundred family members, friends and Guard officials at a National Guard site outside Columbia.
The Republican governor issued a statement saying “we are a proud military family who understands the sacrifices any family goes through when a loved one is serving his or her country.”
Haley's spokesman, Rob Godfrey, said the governor's office is not aware of any other governor's spouse who is deployed with the uniformed military. A Pentagon spokesman, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen, said he could not answer the question of whether any governor's spouses were deployed military and instead referred calls to each of the separate military service branches.
After Gov. Haley hugged their 10-year-old son Nalin and 14-year-old daughter Rena, the governor wrapped her arms around her husband and buried her head in his shoulder. Family members crowded around the small group, many wiping away tears. The governor stepped away, dabbing her nose with a handkerchief as she appeared to be fighting back tears, after giving her husband multiple kisses.
Haley's unit is not scheduled to return to South Carolina before departing on its yearlong mission. It is the third South Carolina Army National Guard group to spend a year working with Afghan farmers to improve farming practices. It is formally known as the 3-49th Agribusiness Development Team and will work in Helmand province.
Michael Haley joined the guard as an officer in 2006. This will be his first deployment overseas. He has served as a medical service corps officer and a planning office.
Guard officials said Haley's background as a businessman would be helpful to the unit as it works with Afghan farmers to sell their crops and improve ways to bring them to market.
Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston, Jr., state adjutant general and head of the Guard, said Haley's unit has trained for months to better understand Afghan agriculture.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Superstorm Sandy-hit areas in New York, New Jersey remain vulnerable
- Congress rankings detail its ‘poorest’ federal lawmakers
- WWII pilot takes off in B-29 yet again
- Hungry Yosemite National Park bears tracked by GPS
- Teacher tried to stop school shooting
- Panetta skipped CIA’s OK of book, potentially putting agency in delicate position with others
- Philadelphia Mafia figure returned to prison for meeting friend
- Teacher tried to stop Washington state shooting
- Hawaiians on notice over lava flow
- Chicago train riders to undergo random baggage screening
- Officers swarm California counties as deputies killed in shooting rampage