Guest Blogger: Carmen Puckett
My contribution to the Military Family month reflections comes as my husband, Rob, prepares to deploy to Okinawa from our home at Camp Pendleton. Rob is a Marine Staff Sergeant who has deployed before in our three year marriage. He is a Marine Corps brat. I grew up in Wisconsin as the daughter of civilians and grand-daughter of service members. We have a one year-old son named Noah, who was born during one of Rob’s deployments.
Having Rob away during those milestones is something I expect as part of my family’s service, but when I think of the unknown that my grandparents endured, I realize how blessed this generation of military families is. Families who served in conflicts even as recent as the Persian Gulf War relied largely on slow-moving communications by mail. Months could go by without word. Families could only trust that their loved ones were out of harm’s way. So many family milestones, birthdays and holidays were marked only by a photograph to share with a service member who was deployed.
Today, we have satellite phones – even cell phones – email and Skype, which allows us to stay connected in real time and hear each other’s voices. It is a comfort. Rob may not have been in the delivery room when Noah was born, but he got to watch Noah come into the world on FaceTime. He was part of the experience.
The ease offered by electronic communications has changed the face of family service and no doubt the readiness of a fighting force who no longer has to feel quite so removed from the comforts of home and family.