The police captain is one of three Corinth officers in the 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team set to mobilize in support of Operation Spartan Shield in Kuwait next spring.
Tucker and fellow officers Mathew Thorne and Erin Hill will join many other local soldiers in the year long deployment in the Middle East to promote regional self-reliance and increase security.
Although it will be Tucker’s third tour of duty, leaving home has never been easy for the 39-year-old.
“Saying goodbye to family is the hardest thing,” he said. “No deployment is ever easy. It’s a stressful time for the family, but all things are in God’s hands.”
As a member of the 114th Field Artillery Regiment based in Starkville, Tucker first left home for Iraq in 2005. He was single and only 26.
“My mom and dad sent me care packages full of simple things that made being away from home a little easier,” he said. “Getting care packages from home is important for all soldiers who are deployed.”
Tucker’s dad would often send him a month’s worth of Daily Corinthians.
“Everybody from this area would gather around and we would read those Daily Corinthians from front to back – it was just something familiar from home and it made passing down time over there so much easier,” said Tucker.
In 2009, he was deployed another year in Iraq. At home, he left behind a wife, a son and a two-week-old daughter.
“Having to leave that time ... I don’t have words ... I mean, my first baby girl had just been born,” an emotional Tucker said.
In the spring, when Tucker heads to the Middle East, he’ll leave at home his wife of 10 years, Kate, and four children, 11-year-old Carter, eight-year-old Allyn, six-year-old Ella Kate and four-year-old Mason. And no matter how hard it is for Tucker, he says it’s his wife who has it worst.
“I think military spouses never get enough credit. When I’m gone, my wife has to be mom and dad to our kids. It’s going to be tough on her,” he said. “She’s the one making the real sacrifice.”
But it’s his wife’s support that keeps Tucker moving.
“She is absolutely wonderful. She keeps me focused and is really proactive when it comes to keeping me involved by sending me photos and making sure I still feel connected even though I’m so far away,” he added.
Tucker’s kids felt the first shock of “daddy being gone” earlier this year.
He spent weeks in a large-scale boot camp-style training in California ahead of the deployment orders.
“There was a lot of Facetime,” he said. “Being in the states is a lot easier than overseas when it comes to communicating.”
Tucker’s brigade is scheduled for mobilization in the spring of 2018, at Fort Bliss, Texas, with a follow-on deployment for approximately nine months, in the Central Command Theater based out of Kuwait in the Middle East.
He’ll be one of approximately 4,200 Mississippi National Guard soldiers deployed.
As a first lieutenant, Tucker will be in charge of a group of soldiers.
“It comes with added responsible and is extremely important to take care of the people under you – like family,” he said. “That’s what we will be. We will take care of each other like family because no one really knows what we might face over there. Everyone is trained to adapt to whatever might happen, because you never know.”
While there Tucker will have the back of his comrades during the day with a hope that he’ll get to talk to his family at night.
“I’ll take every chance I get to hear by kids voices, but being a part of something bigger is pretty amazing,” he added. “I do this, because I love my country.”