Minniefield is upbeat despite having to leave his family, including wife, Latrice, 8-year-old son, Isaiah, and 4-year-old daughter, Jayda.
"It feels real good, especially since I have both my kids here. I'm happy. It's a good Father's Day for me," Deandre Minniefield said.
"I'm very proud of Deandre, but he will be terribly missed. I don't know what I'm going to do without my husband," said Latrice Minniefield.
"I don't want him to go, but he's here to serve his country," said mother Donna Minniefield.
Minniefield's unit, which is based in south suburban Crestwood stops at Fort Bragg, North Carolina before going to Afghanistan.
He said he expected to be away for one year.