July 28, 2004

Military Dads, Coming and Going

It's been a little over a week since my wife left on a business trip, and we're going bonkers. Just imagine not seeing your kids, your entire family, maybe even your unborn kid, for up to 18 months.

That's the increasingly common experience of military dads, who face the difficulties of leaving and being away and coming back on top of the real risk of being killed.

Two articles give a taste of what it's like:
Scotty Hicks got permission to leave his pre-Iraq training to attend the birth of his first kid. [WATE-TV]
Dads coming back from duty need to adjust to 'new' families [Macon Telegraph]


I no longer in the military, but I work for the military. One group of people that are having an extremely difficult time with the deployment are the fathers and mothers of one to two year olds. When you come back after 12 months of deployment, your child will barely remember you if at all. It's like welcoming a stranger into your home.

We first heard about this situation in the delivery room.

Our nurse --who was an amazing help for us, especially for my wife--told us she found out she was pregnant, and a couple of weeks later, her husband's guard unit was called up to go to Iraq, and he's missing the whole thing--the pregnancy, birth, and a good chunk of the first year, she thinks.

I am currently stationed in Greece, and my wife is also military and in San Diego.

We just recently found out she was pregnant. We have 3 beautiful boys, and this pregnancy is hard for her with the stress she has on her, and the feeling that I am not doing for her what she needs because of the military.

Is there any advice for me to be able to make it easier on her from 10,000 miles away? I am only guaranteed to be home for the birth, and that is not good enough for either of us . What do I do?

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