Marilyn Gonzalez (MG): When you told me that you wanted to deploy, I was so angry.
Jessica Pedraza (JP): I couldn’t be the person who had to stay home and worry about you being away. I couldn’t do it.
And, whenever I would go out on a mission, you would go in my room and make my bed, and sometimes you would come back from your missions and catch me sleeping on your bed.
MG: I hope you know they used to tease me. But it was hard not to be mom. Every time I saw you I wanted to just go up and hug you and I couldn’t do it!
JP: I just remember I always had to kiss you on the cheek and run–“Mom, I love you!”
MG: Like that day that you said it on the radio.
JP: I said “Roger…I love you.” And I remember, somebody interrupted and they were like “Hey, none of that over the radio!” And then I heard you just say it right back.
MG: Well, I just want to say that, that you were willing to put your life on the line to be there with me, I could never tell you how much that means to me.
JP: You know, I know that in a way you were kind of upset at the fact that I chose to do what I did, and give up six college acceptances that I had, to do this with you. But I think that we have the mother and daughter bond, and we have a soldiers’ bond. There’s just nothing more you can ask for.