Student Union Building
PO Box 444264
Moscow, ID 83844-4264
1031 N. Academic Way,
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
By Joshua Wright
The next time Demita Vital watches her son, Troy, play football for the University of Idaho, the 2009 season will be almost complete. And she'll be back in the United States after another tour through Iraq.
The Army first sergeant was honored Nov. 1 during Military Appreciation Day at the Kibbie Dome. She and her husband, Keith, who spent 20 years in the Army before retiring, joined their son at midfield for a ceremonial coin toss before the Vandals battled San Jose State.
Six days later, she was set to be deployed for Northern Iraq for a year of service.
The Vitals live in Kempner, Texas, and Demita is stationed at Fort Hood. She's the leader of a group of information technology specialists who make sure computers and phone networks are provided and running. She has been to the Middle East twice and to Korea, as well.
Demita knew she would be shipped out for more than a year, so her goal was to make every Vandal game leading up to the team's bye week. She missed two, but she still enjoyed the experience of traveling to the Palouse several times.
“This is a really great community,” Demita said. “This is a family here. When we came here our first time, it's like everybody just loved us. It doesn't matter if they knew who you were, because they didn't know who we were. We walked through campus; everybody's so friendly here. You don't see that everywhere.”
Since she's in a communications company, it won't be a problem to stay in touch with her family when she's in Iraq. While Troy, 19, is a freshman running back at the University of Idaho, her 25-year-old daughter Lanecia lives in California.
Demita has been overseas so many times that Troy, the Vandals' third leading rusher, isn't fazed by her yearlong stays. “I'm used to it by now,” he said.
Seeing his parents honored by his school, however, was a memorable experience.
“That was cool,” Troy said. “It was nice to see them recognized.”