BAGHDAD - Today's Soldier in Focus is Pfc. Robert Edwards, a medic assigned to the Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Multi-National Division-Baghdad. Edwards, a native of Saline, Mich., joined the Army almost two years ago and is currently serving his first deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Prior to joining the Army, Edwards was an executive sous chef for two five-star restaurants in Detroit. Despite his love for the profession however, Edwards said the job security was unsteady. As a newlywed and new father to a baby girl, he wanted to make sure his family was taken care of.

"I joined the Army to serve my country and support my family," he said. "I know it is a sacrifice, but I know they are being taken care of by the Army."

Edwards said although his deployment has been fast-paced since arriving in Iraq last December, he loves what he is doing. He said the best part of his deployment is helping the Iraqi people with their medical needs.

"I love to make a difference in the daily lives of the Iraqi people," he said. "During my time here, I have been able to treat several Iraqis, and we recently donated some medical supplies to a local area hospital. We also donated some toys to an Iraqi school. Doing things like that really make this deployment special."

Edwards comes from a strong military linage. His grandfather was an Army Air Corps glider pilot during World War II and served during the invasion of Normandy. His brother served in the Marine Corps and his cousin recently joined the Marines and is preparing for an upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.

Edwards added that although he is away from home, his fellow Paratroopers in Iraq are like a second family to him.

"Being deployed makes you thankful for everything you have," he said. "The experiences I have had here is something I will never forget."