USS Boxer, Battle Group Strike Out

The Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group left Naval Base San Diego on Friday morning, headed to the Western Pacific.

Major Anthony Baggs is deploying, along with about 6,000 other servicemen and women. Although he and his wife, Gina, have gone through deployments for the past five years or so, she said it never gets any easier.

"It's hard because ... you go from being a team to being a single parent, and you just want that other parent to be there to see them grow up," Gina said. "It just breaks my heart that each day when he's gone for six, seven months ... it just breaks my heart."

However, Gina stressed that she is proud of her husband and the great job he does for America.

Capt. Pete Dallman said that the strike group had been trained for any contingency, from providing humanitarian aid to warfare.
"We have great expectations that we're going to do our country's work here for the next several months," Dallman said.

Ray Burrhus, who is the command master chief of the USS Boxer, said the ship returned from a nine-month deployment in May 2007.  He does not know how long the ship will be away from its home port this time.

"The amphibious task groups have a pretty broad assortment of missions we can do," Burrhus said.

For families left behind, time can't move fast enough.

"Sometimes we'll all break down and cry together because we miss him so much," Gina said.

Contact Us