THOMSON - When 5-year-old Jordan Walker said goodbye to his mother and father in January, he thought they were just going to go work for a while.
While partly true, what the Walkers didn't tell their son was that they were leaving as soldiers in the war with Iraq. They weren't sure he'd understand.
"He has no idea, except that they went to work for a long time and he has to stay with me," said Alfreda Benson, aunt to Jordan and his 11-year-old sister, Toni.
Benson is a paraprofessional at Jordan's school, Thomson Elementary School, and is looking after Jordan and Toni while their parents are overseas.
Though unable to say exactly where Jordan's parents are, she does know that they're safe.
Five-year-old Jordan Walker of Thomson is being cared for by aunt Alfreda Benson while his parents are deployed in the Middle East.
Photo by Elwood Hamilton
"They've been over there since January," she said. "They'll be back hopefully in the middle of June. It's been OK. They're (Jordan and Toni) happy, and when their mom calls, she says, 'They sound really happy,' but I say, 'They still miss their parents, but they've adjusted.' Both are doing really well in school. I have two other children and everyone's doing well. I have two boys and everyone acts like brothers and sisters."
Jordan's father, Tony Walker, is a member of the 3rd Infantry Division - the division that helped lead the way into Iraq.
"When they got into Baghdad, he (Tony) called me, but I haven't talked to him since, but I did get an e-mail from him," said Benson. "In the beginning, I couldn't watch the news."
The soft-spoken Jordan, who talks to his mother as much as he can, misses his parents and is happy when he's able to communicate with them.
"My dad said he was going to buy me a surprise. I also want a Gamecube and a Dragon Ball Z game," he said.
"Every time he talks to his mom, he wants something different. Sometimes it's a guinea pig," said Benson. "He misses them. He's just happy when he's able to talk to his mom."
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