Bragg troops bound for Kuwait gain precious family time

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A mechanical issue with an airplane gives military families a few more precious moments.

In the final moments of deployment, Melanie Ruder can't keep her hands off her husband. "I'm fixing his hat!" Ruder laughs.

Capt. Christopher Ruder and 26 other men and women are deploying to Kuwait for nine months. Melanie Ruder says this process never gets easier.

"It's just such a dangerous time," Ruder said. "We're just so proud of what he does, so that we can live the way we live here at home."

Ruder and her daughters wore blue dresses, which is their father's favorite color, for his third deployment. But this one is different. The couple has an 18-month-old.

"She has pictures. He reads to her -- one of those Hallmark books that you can prerecord so we'll read that every night. And just do what we can. Day by day," Ruder said.

During the nine-month deployment, the 1st Theater Sustainment Command will support Middle Eastern operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But as the soldiers prepared to leave and say their goodbyes, the Ruders learned the soldiers' plane malfunctioned -- so the group will have to leave Friday morning.

"For me it's counting down the hours all over again," Melanie Ruder said. "I am on a high that he can spend more time with us - but like he said, we've got to do it all over again. Just keep us in your prayers. The soldiers and the families."

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