Commentary

March 7, 2014

Keeping family bond throughout deployment

Tags:
Tech. Sgt. Colleen Urban
380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

Tech. Sgt. Colleen urban, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs broadcaster, kisses her son Killian Urban on the cheek.

SOUTHWEST ASIA — Deployments are different after you have a child. I just never realized how different deployments would be once I became a parent.

This deployment I am a mother. Sometimes I wonder how a mother could leave her 1-year-old baby like I have done, as if I am abandoning my child in some way, but then I remember the reason why I do it. I do it not just for myself anymore, but for my son, and I get through the separation by remaining focused on why I am here and what I am here to do.

It began when I sat at my desk, nine months pregnant, reading an email stating I would deploy in a year. I hadn’t even had my child yet and already had to think about leaving him. On top of that, my husband was deploying at the same time.

How was I going to do this? How would I be able to handle leaving my new baby boy? How would I physically be able to get on a plane and not look back? More importantly, how am I going to ask someone else to care for him? I didn’t have a choice. I had a duty, an obligation that I was not backing out of.

Even knowing a year in advance could not prepare me for the emotions I would go through during this deployment. I was just getting the hang of being a mom, and now I felt as if I would have to start over.

One of the first times I saw my son on a video call, he held him arms out as if I was just going to scoop him up. As my son reached for me through the screen of the tablet and whined for me with desperation in his voice, I did everything I could to fight back tears, but it was no match for the feeling of helplessness that overcame me.

The helpless feeling comes from not being there. I can’t scold him when he does something wrong and I can’t teach him how to do something right, I can’t make him feel better when he is sick or put him to bed at night. Most of all, I can’t hold him, hug him or kiss him–all I can do is keep loving him from 8,000 miles away.

I have watched my son learn to talk, express his emotion and throw a ball all through a small hand-held screen. In that tiny box in the top corner I have watched myself grow. As each day goes by, it never gets easier, but I get stronger. The bond that I have with my son is not broken from this deployment, our bond is greater than ever and it will only help me to cherish the moments I do have with him and help me to become the parent I want to be.

My son won’t remember this time, but I will. As long as I am in the Air Force, it is something I could face again and many other parents also face each day. So when you look back upon these days, don’t think about what you missed, think about what you gained and what lessons you will be able to pass on to your child. Your strength and determination will make your child proud to call you mom or dad. That reason is enough to keep me going.

Whatever your reason is, keep doing it, because you are doing something greater for yourself and the future of your child.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Adawn Kelsey

Continued education inspires new Creech tradition

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Adawn Kelsey Master Sergeant Bryan Teeples, 15th Reconnaissance Squadron first sergeant, takes a selfie with Col. James Cluff, 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing commander, and Chief Mast...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo

F-35 and F-22 combine capabilities in operational integration training mission

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo F-22 Raptors from the 94th Fighter Squadron, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., and F-35A Lightning IIs from the 58th Fighter Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base, Fl., fly in formation...
 
 

Our quest for zero

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – Day in, and day out, we try to keep up with the hustle and bustle of the Nellis AFB mission; from the airmen basic replacing a sink facet to a colonel flying a training sortie, we all have some part in fulfilling this mission. The question is, how safe...
 

 

Airmen Powered by Innovation program launches new site

WASHINGTON — Fellow Airmen, Your enthusiasm and ingenuity continues to be our Air Force’s number one weapon system! In April we launched the Airmen Powered by Innovation program aimed at turning your ideas into real cost savings for our Air Force. Since coming online API has received and reviewed more than 2,400 ideas and that...
 
 
DoD
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler

Raptor demo team soars into sky

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE Nev. — Just as they do at many airshows across the nation, the F-22 Raptor Demonstration and Heritage Team from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, showcased the capabilities of the F-22 in the skies ...
 
 

Social well-being vital to Airman wellness

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — In order to accomplish the Air Force mission, and remain resilient to adversity, Airmen must maintain high levels of physical, mental, spiritual and social fitness. This quarter, the 99th Air Base Wing will focus on social fitness, by participating in events that focus on this Comprehensive Airmen Fitness pillar...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin