Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children


Protecting Family and Country

Will and Joy Doggett

“My faith makes this situation easier,” said Joy Doggett about her husband Will’s deployment to Iraq in October 2007. He is currently serving as a platoon sergeant for the Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Platoon for the 1-179 Infantry Battalion at Camp Bucca, Iraq.

“I don’t understand how people without faith cope,” Joy said.

Responding in an e-mail from Iraq, Will Doggett told Generosity, “My family is supportive of what I do. My church, I am sure, has kept me and the other deployed soldiers at the top of the prayer list. My faith has kept me focused on the job at hand and the job of getting home. Without the Lord I think keeping my sanity in this place would be nearly impossible.”

This is his second tour of duty with the Army National Guard. The first was in Afghanistan in 2003-2004. He also served for six weeks in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

“Serving my country means…protecting the people of the United States, whether overseas or at home,” he writes.

Joy and Will live in Vinita and are active members of First Baptist Vinita. They met at Bluejacket High School in Bluejacket, Oklahoma.

“We’ve pretty much known each other forever,” she said.  

After the couple married in 1995, Will was out of the Army for a few years and then reentered military life when he signed up for the Army National Guard, in which he has served for nine years.

The first deployment certainly was not easy as a spouse, Joy said. The second deployment is different and has its own set of challenges because she and Will are now parents of three-year-old Jackson. Joy spends her days keeping up with her energetic blond, curly-haired son. When Jackson sees or hears a fire truck, he points and says, “That’s like Daddy.” Will’s “real-life” job is as a firefighter for the Broken Arrow Fire Department. In the evenings Jackson listens to books read by Will that the couple video recorded before he left. They are making the best out of the situation and anticipate Will’s return in October 2008.

“Last time I was only responsible for myself,” Joy said. “The biggest pressure now is that I’m the sole parent.”

This made contacting the Foundation to set up an estate plan important before Will left for Iraq.

Jackson was our motivation, but the deployment was the thing that really forced us to take care of the will and not put it off any longer, Joy said. 

A Foundation representative sat down with the Doggetts and walked them through the process step-by-step. When the couple left, they had a firm plan in place.

Once the Doggetts met with the Foundation and had a firm plan in place, they signed their documents and paid their attorney. The Foundation reimbursed a portion of the couple’s legal fees. This is the arrangement made available by the Foundation if clients leave at least a 10 percent charitable gift to Baptist ministries in their estate plan.  

“We chose to support our church and the Boys Ranch Town,” Will writes in his e-mail. “The Boys Ranch Town was a favorite of our late pastor, Larry Wallace, and we did it in honor of him.”

It was a painless process, Joy said.

“We had everything in line so that Jackson would be provided for spiritually and physically, and the financial part would not be an issue for his guardian. It was a weight off our shoulders.”

Will added in his e-mail, “The will and estate plan have given me a peace of mind while I have been here; one less thing to worry about. If something happens to me, my family is taken care of. I would tell people not to put off taking care of their estate plan a moment longer. We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow.”

Joy and Jackson anticipate a reunion with Will this fall. They plan to take walks on the family farm, have dinner together, and read stories to Jackson at night.  

“I’m just looking forward to sitting together in church,” she said. “It’s the everyday things that I really miss.”

The Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma | Generosity Magazine | Fall 2008
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