This week my daughter Candie came home for a three week visit. She lives in Hawaii because her husband is stationed at Schofield Barracks. He's currently deployed in Iraq and she gets quite lonely and homesick at times.
Her last visit was in April at Easter time. During that visit, the Army decided to extend the length of deployments from 12 months to 15 months. Thomas left for Iraq in August 2006 and was due home this coming August. When the longer deployment time was adopted, Thomas' tour of duty was extended 90 days, meaning that he will not be home until November. Now that the Army is sending soldiers overseas for 18 months, there's a real possibility that Thomas may not come home until February or March, 2008. Candie is a strong woman and she does her best to remain upbeat and supportive of Thomas during the times that they are able to instant message, talk on the phone or video teleconference. I'm proud of her and all she does to support her husband but I'm also her mom. It's difficult to see her struggling to keep herself busy and not cry because she misses her husband enormously. It's also hard to watch her run to check the computer in case Thomas sent her an e-mail. She is being affected by the separation from him and she's even considered enlisting herself so she can be deployed with him.
There are times that she'll talk to me about the large number of military wives and girlfriends who cheat on their men while they're deployed. When the soldiers come home, they are often emotionally estranged from their loved ones and on edge. Often it's difficult to sustain a marriage under normal circumstances, can you imagine what it's like facing the uncertainty that our military personnel and their spouses/families face? There must be something we can do to help them, but what?
Please continue to pray for our troops and their families. They need our support and all the help we can give them.