As United States Under Secretary of the Army, the Honorable Joseph W. Westphal was visiting with troops at the COP over the Thanksgiving Day holiday he found out SPC Staron's parents lived in Florida. He then asked Staron if he was a University of Florida fan.
"No, I'm a Vol all the way," said SPC Staron.
Westphal, a Mizzou fan, then jokingly boasted to Staron that the Missouri Tigers had beaten the Tennessee Vols.
The two shared a laugh and got a chance to talk football.
SPC Staron's father, Brian Staron, said the family was happy to see his son in the photo over the holidays even if he couldn't be there with him.
"We were so happy when we saw this particular picture," said Brain Staron. "It's great to see him smile and looks like he's having fun on the holiday. He said they had the traditional turkey/stuffing and all the trimmings, but with the added bonus of steaks too."
He added this was a difficult time for the family with both Casey and his older brother Kyle, a combat engineer also stationed in Afghanistan, being away from home and knows other families are enduring the same circumstances.
"This is our first year without our sons being home for the holidays and needless to say it's difficult," said Brain Staron. "Not just the fact that they are not here, but the fact of where they are, and what they're doing. We're so proud of them and the sacrifices they make, (not just them, but all of our servicemen/women throughout the world), being away from home and family during this time of the year. We ask all Americans to remember in thought and prayer these serving our country who are away from their families during this holiday season."