My husband Alan and I had the honor to meet many supporting military families at the Yellow Ribbon event for the deployed Army Reserves. I loved hearing their personal stories of what their family experiences have been with their deployments. Each story is unique and touches my heart, and we all have a common ground. Trying to cope with what you have been dealt, and attempting to achieve a positive outlook and experience.
I know our personal situation with deployment was challenging, with being a parents to our granddaughters. Each family had a special story.
One families’ story I think stuck out in my mind that day. A woman shared with Alan and I that her husband was currently deployed, for the past year. While her husband was deployed, just four months ago, she became the guardians of her Army Reserves daughter’s three children, ages -16, 10 and 6. She and her husband had downsized to a smaller home, a 1 bedroom and a loft, 10 years ago. She lives relatively close to her daughter’s home. She felt she wanted to provide her grandchildren a familiar surroundings and a normal routine. She felt this would help them during their mother’s deployment. The kids get ready for school at their own home, and after school they would return to complete their homework. They all ate dinner together, then they would gather their belongings and sleep at their grandmother’s house. She felt she needed to sleep in her own bed. She shared with us the challenges of balancing the two households, children’s activates and her daily routine.
She is alone, facing all the mixed emotions and duties of her new responsibilities. When her husband returns, he will be able to help her in a few months. But in the meanwhile it’s all up to her.
I asked her how the children were dealing with this. She explained that the youngest child was convinced their mother would not return home safely. And they were fearful of anything happening to her, since she was the only one there for them. She was concerned and recognized the children’s mental health was an issue. She sought out counseling to help the children and herself. I give her credit for reaching out for help. The military provides exceptional counseling for families dealing with all sorts of issues. I give her credit, for recognizing they all needed help!
I shared with her the website and my email, encouraging her to keep me posted on her progress, and if she needed a shoulder to lean on,I was there for her. Knowing you have others that are or have been in the same situation is so gratifying. Knowing others have come through deployment, makes all the difference in the world.
I am proud to know other deployed families, and their commitment to sacrificing their lifestyle and making a difference for their family, doing what ever it takes for the family. Cheers to those families!
We are the Force behind Our Force!