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.


 
 

 

Just American: A century of Black life

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. (AFNS) — Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted Harvard-trained historian Carter Woodson....
 
 

Don’t underestimate importance of sacrifices

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — As I was reviewing some enlisted performance reports and decorations, I started contemplating a huge event in my life that occurred almost 20 years ago. In April 1995, I asked my then girlfriend Tiffani, a fellow Airman at the time, to be my wife, for better or worse. We...
 
 

I wanted to die

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. — Two months ago, I wanted to die. Allow me to clarify — I was not suicidal on that dark, August night when I hit rock bottom. I did not want to take a razor to my wrists. I did not want to swallow a bottle of pills. I did not want to...
 

 

What I’ve learned, an Airman’s perspective

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D.  — When I raised my right hand and swore to defend my country, I wanted to travel the world and continue my education. I managed to accomplish the first, spending the first two years of my enlistment at Kadena Air Base, Japan, and Osan Air Base, South Korea, but my ever-changing...
 
 

Air Force Medicine: A vision for future

WASHINGTON  — The United States Air Force’s core missions are air and space superiority, ISR (intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance), rapid global mobility, global strike, and command and control. These are almost identical (but in different terms) to the missions the Air Force had in 1947. But we now do these missions in three domains: Air, space...
 
 

I really shouldn’t be here

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. — A couple of feet and a half a second. These may seem like insignificant measurements; but when combined with fatigue, a couple of feet almost cost me my career, and that half a second almost ended my life. There was a time when I was an enlisted aircraft electrical...
 




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