Coping with deployment

By CARLEESHA FREEMAN

Throughout the year, thousands of military soldiers put their lives at risk for the sake of serving their country. After 9/11, many soldiers have been on assignment in Afghanistan.

Deployment is always a possibility when it comes to those who serve in a branch of the military.

As of December 2012, 1,388,028 soldiers in the Air Force, Army, Marines, and Navy have been deployed. The spouses of some of those deployed speak out on how they are coping and the hardships that they face.

“It becomes harder when we are able to talk to our spouses via telephone or Skype,” said Sgt. Latonua Hawkins, a guidance counselor for the U.S. Army. “When I am able to talk to and see my husband, it makes me more and more anxious for him to come home.

“My husband has been gone for about eight months. The hardest part I believe is fear of the unknown. All the ‘what-ifs’ and thinking of all the possibilities of the things that could go wrong is what make it harder to cope with.”

It is common that most of the spouses of those who are deployed participate in weekly activities and group projects that help aid the soldiers who are deployed. These spouses can be the wife or the husband. They participate voluntarily to make and send care packages that can include anything from simple food  items to toiletry items like deodorant, toothpaste and specific items that they may ask for.

On a similar note, some spouses describe how those who are deployed find ways to kill extra time and cope with not seeing their families day to day.

Many soldiers have access to the Internet. If they have extra free time, they watch television, lounge around, eat and make the best of their free time.

“It gets hard sometimes,” said Darrel Gibson, a member of the U.S. Air Force, “but I am glad that with the technology that we have, we are able to constantly stay in touch with loved ones.”

This is just a one of the few testimonies of what some of these families go through. Deployed soldiers would appreciate any contributions.

Anyone who would like to participate or get information on the donation process can go to http://www.military.com

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