As many families are out choosing Halloween costumes and trying to decide how to decorate pumpkins, others in our community are preparing to say goodbye to their soldiers for nine to 12 months. While this is really nothing new to Liberty County — our heroes have been deploying for more than 10 years, since the beginning of the war — each time is poignant and offers a new opportunity to wish our soldiers farewell and to support family members left behind in what surely is a trying time.
When soldiers deploy, they are not only performing the duties that they have spent months training for, they also are defending the freedoms of this country while their spouses and loved ones are left behind. A lot of people forget that while a soldier is deployed, someone still has to tackle household tasks and responsibilities. Bills still have to be paid; children still have to get to and from school; houses still have to be cleaned; careers still call; dinners still have to be cooked. Life goes on here even with the gap that a soldier’s absence causes.
The loved ones left behind don’t enjoy living life without their other half, but they do it because they respect and support the man or woman they love.
When interacting with someone whose spouse is deployed, offer sympathy. Avoid trying to relate. Saying, “I know how you feel — my spouse was gone for a week on a business trip,” may offend someone who will go the better part of a year without seeing his or her partner. Be yourself. Be genuine, and if you do not have anything to say, simply thank the person for their sacrifices.
Eusebio is the public information assistant for Southeast Georgia Friends of Fort Stewart and Hunter.