Away from Home for the Holidays: The Seydel Family

By Mark Geary, Reporter


By Kelli Sutterman

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Ever since he was a teenager, Private First Class Colton Seydel of Solon, 20, and serving with the B. Company of the 1-133, has wanted to serve his country. But, that desire places him in danger and causes his family back in Iowa to worry.

"It'll be hard on them, especially my mom. She likes having me around a lot,” Pfc. Seydel said.

The deployment has put a lot of stress on his mother, Linda Seydel.

"You never expect the kid you're raising to go off into a war zone. That's not even in your repertoire. It's totally surreal,” Linda Seydel said.

She still thinks of him as her little boy.

"As a mother, back here, you don't have the ability to protect them. Not that you do anyway when they're that age, but you just feel helpless sometimes," Linda Seydel said.

Pfc. Seydel said, "She keeps things organized for me."

When Linda heard what her son said, she said, "If Colton was back here, he'd probably say I was in his face. Now that he's overseas, he's probably saying I kept him organized.”

Colton's sister and Linda's partner, Doug, also miss having the whole family together.

"I try to be as supportive as I can and help out in any way,” Doug Richou said.

Pfc. Seydel’s sister, Anna Seydel, 14, said, "He's really funny and always makes jokes and lightens the mood. He always has good advice to give so I can always count on him to help me out."

Lee Seydel has always had a special bond with his son. Every photo he sees of Colton brings a smile to his face.

"He's taken a big step for the country. It's something to be proud of, certainly scary, but something to be proud of,” Lee Seydel said.

Pfc. Seydel said, "Me and my dad are pretty close like friends. We hang out a lot and do a lot of stuff like work on cars."

Lee Seydel said, "The thing that scares me the most is that I'm afraid he's going to step up when they need someone to step up or when something goes wrong."

The dangers of the mission have been on everyone's mind lately.

"It’s hard knowing that he might not come back,” Anna Seydel said.

While it's difficult to celebrate the holidays without Colton, everyone says being apart from him every day is much tougher.

"You can't really prepare yourself for that kind of a hole. It just happens and it's there,” Lee Seydel said.

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