While many military families were just enjoying their time with loved ones over the Holidays, some are now preparing to say goodbye.
The Alabama Army National Guard’s 128th Military Police Company has been called to active duty to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
It’s the third deployment Amanda and her husband Sergeant Nathan Jarboe will go through together. But experience doesn’t necessarily make it any easier.
“When you’re deployed you just try to do your job and not worry about it. The first time he was deployed we weren’t married yet, so it wasn’t the same as sharing a house and family,” said Amanda Jarboe, who also served a tour in Iraq in 2009. “This time really it’s worrying about our daughter. She’s too little to really understand.”
Nathan and Amanda have a 2-year-old daughter, who they say questions where her dad will be going. They bought a tablet for Christmas, that they’ve recorded videos of her father on for her to watch while he’s in Guantanamo Bay.
For friends Jennifer and Specialist Tracy Griffis, it is the first deployment they’ve experienced.
“It’s going to be difficult leaving the kids, it’s going to be a challenge just being separated,” said Tracy Griffis. “Just keep working, spend as much time with your family as you can. Try to tie loose ends up around the house and that’s all you really can do.”
In the months leading up to the deployment and in the months to come, spouses of the men and women deployed turn to one another for support.
“We have a really wonderful group that comes together to make this. It helps a lot because it takes your mind off what you’re doing,” said Amanda. “You can’t really worry about yourself when you’re trying to be there for everybody else.”
The families do not know how long the deployment will be.
On Saturday, January 5th, a deployment ceremony will be held at Rock Family Worship Center at 2 p.m.