ST. CLOUD - A soldier in St. Cloud has recently been told that he may be deployed to Western Africa to support operations in the battle against Ebola.

Staff Sergeant Anthony Housey has been in the Army for nearly 18 years and has previously served as a tanker in the 1st Armored Division in Germany. Housey says the details on the potential deployment are sparse, but that it would be a humanitarian mission to help organizations fighting against Ebola.

Housey has lived in St. Cloud for nearly eight years with his wife, who are now raising a young son. Housey says it will be difficult to leave his family if he's deployed, but it's something he understands and is prepared for.

"It's something that my wife and I understand that we signed the dotted line to be a part of this organization-that we could be deployed at any time," Housey says, "We'd love to spend a summer together-but if a deployment comes up we're prepared for whatever that entails."

According to the World Health Organization, there have been 18,603 reported cases of Ebola and 6,915 deaths in the current outbreak. Housey says that he does have fears if he's deployed, but feels he will be completely safe due to it being a humanitarian mission.

"I think there is that fear in the back of my mind, [but] I understand that the military isn't going to purposely put me in harms way-and if that is necessary then it's for a reason," Housey says.

As we approach Christmas, Housey says being deployed makes you truly appreciate the holiday season.

"It gives you a chance to see what the real meaning of a holiday is, there's no Targets or stores-you end up making Christmas, or the 4th of July, or Easter with the bare minimum with what you have," Housey says.

If Housey is deployed, he says it would likely be six months to a year he would be away from home. Despite some fears, he says he's excited for the potential mission to help others and see a different part of the world.

"Now is an opportunity to go out, make a footprint, show yourself as a humanitarian, represent yourself as a member of your country and learn another culture and way of life," Housey says.


SSG Anthony Housey (Dan DeBaun, WJON News)