When a 'daddy' warrior deploys
September 30th, 2010
11:06 AM ET

When a 'daddy' warrior deploys

Maylanie Shorter sleeps with a T-shirt tucked in her pillowcase. It carries the scent of her father's cologne while he's on patrol in Afghanistan.

Her younger sister, Ariana, sleeps with her Daddy Doll - a stuffed soldier that displays a photo of her father across its face.

At 14 and 10, the two girls try to maintain normalcy. They're active in school, they help with dinner, they rally around their mother. And they show no mercy for Pops over the Silver Star he earned by saving several comrades whose armored Humvee was shredded by a roadside bomb. They tease him about a photo of the burned-out vehicle. "How did you take this picture? Weren't you supposed to go get them and help?" Ariana says.

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soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. army daughter, army sister, army niece, airforce life

    i am an army daughter, army sister, army niece, and i am in the air force. my dad proudly served 22 yrs active duty. my brother has finished about 6 yrs and i have uncles and aunts serving. i chose the airforce just for a different path. my dad being military made us a strong family. it made me mom who she is. she is the strongest person that i know. we do get worried each time someone deploys, but we are their support system, and when they do deploy we have ppl here on the home side to help us when we get down. the military, no matter what branch is a giant support system, they become your family as well. not one person in my family has deployed more than a yr at a time, and they have always had between 6months-1 yr home before they deploy again, sometimes even longer till they deploy again. for as long as my dad was in, he only deployed 4 times or so. sure he was in the field or a while, sometimes a month at a time, or he would have to go away to training for a couple of weeks, but we are still a family. while we are home we enjoy our time together go about our everyday business like a normal family. i dont regret my child hood any, neither do my brother or sister. we always had a roof over our head, clothes on our back, and food on the table. we had friends, went to school... its not like we live in a different world. the military is another JOB. everyone wants a job to take care of their family. and just like any other job we get sent away at times. i am currently expecting, im active duty, my babys father is active duty as well. we will have moments of hard times, goodtimes, rough times, everything everyone in a civilian world does. but we are happy and we are strong ppl. we are the same as everyone else.

    October 5, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Grief Stricken

    I love how all of you on here are bickering about whats right & whats wrong. My brother-in-law Will Rabon was killed in Afghanistan on Friday yes October 1, 2010. Was he supposed to wait before or after he was killed, to have his 4 children and get married to my sister? Life is an unexpected string of events, of choices that an individual makes without knowing the consequences. He never once moaned & complained about going over because he believed he was doing his part. So to all of you that are breathing and using your preciouse time fussing between each other, shut the hell up and be with your familys instead of thinking your the one with the right opinion!

    October 5, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Another Proud Army Mom

      Heartfelt sympathiy and peace to your family.

      October 5, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Foreigner.

    My Father was a soldier for my country till I was in my pre-teens and it has done nothing negative to my psychological build-up. I'm from outside the US, but, I have the utmost respect for every single soldier on the face of this planet, no matter what their allegience is, soldiers don't get enough respect. Take it from me where the soldiers of my father's era don't even get recognised in a country where those that have died in War are buried nameless, faceless, and don't get honoured in their own country just because they were fighting for an old regime that is no longer in power............at least you have the right to honour those that have fallen.

    October 4, 2010 at 5:11 am | Report abuse |
  4. CaptainBurns

    Friend In Arms. Are you sure it's soldiers that give us freedom of speech? To me it sounds like your mixing a few things up. And secondly, in the U.S. and just about everywhere else, it's judges and not the military that protect us from our own government..... fool

    October 3, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Alan Gierke

    What about "Mommie" Deployed?

    Both my daughter and son-in law are Air Force Officers. Both are career officers, now mid to late in their careers. Both are eligible for deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. Because of career field differences, daughter is the combat tour vet. As a Civil Engineer she was sent to border of Iraq during initial combat phase in 2003 to set up a tent city for 3,500 Army troops. No kids then. She was later selected for Afghanistan and left a 14 month old daughter. Now pregnant with our 3 rd grandchild she will again be eligible to deploy six months after baby is born. My wife and I are long term back up for both grand kids should both parents get selected to deploy at same time.

    Military members who are also Mommies deserve as much thanks and recognition as daddies and male troops. They share the same dangers.

    THANK YOU TO EVERY SERVING WOMAN AND MAN IN TODAY'S MILITARY SERVICES.

    Proud Father/Father-In-Law,
    Retired AF Lt Col.

    October 3, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Well said sir, They also serve...

      October 3, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • John

        Hey you,quit usurping my name here.I'd rather speak for myself and I never posted the above!!! I wish that you'd post your right-wing nonsense under your own name for a change.

        October 3, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • Danielmountain

        Professional help is available Daniel-2

        October 3, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Friend In Arms

    Hey MB303, Soldiers are the reason you are able to say what's on your mind and not get filleted by the government. You say you work on a military base. A Soldier ALLOWED you to work there. That's probably because you envy the military you work for because you were not able to join. Why else would you work so closely to the military with the views you express? The very computer you are using to post your silly comment is probably a government work station. You should be working, not screwing around on the internet. Now get back to work before we fire you!

    October 2, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. 11bangbang

    I dont even see how this is news waste of space... I am a Father/Husband/and a brother on my second deployment in four years... Everyone know about what they signed up for and what they will be getting in to before they even went to the dam recruiter....cnn needs to write about something else not what has been going on for the past ten years..

    October 2, 2010 at 5:40 am | Report abuse |
  8. USMC Forever

    Obviously, I didn't write that above. I wish he'd just come out and admit he's a Paki Taliban supporter.

    October 1, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. common sense

    Regardless of your views on war or this or that war the fact of the matter is history has shown that regardless there will always be war & conflict. With over politics, religion, women, men, oil, food this or that there will always be war & conflict & anyone who enjoys that idea let alone enjoys war obviously has never experienced it directly or even indirectly. Video games don't make wars they don't expand wars they don't make the rules they don't start wars. War is hell & unpleasant but also unavoidable. Would you rather fight off the russians or chinese invading America or would you rather fight them off some where else. Would you rather fight the terrorists who play by no rules have no remorse openly target women & children & base their success on how many people they kill & maime here or some where else? Here where your children husbands wife or grand children might go to work one day as a secratary only to die from a bombing or terrorist attack? Terrorists wear no uniforms & while wars in the past has rules & conditions even the horrible nazis wore uniforms while doing what they did. terrorists don't. A woman down the line might look pregnant even have her child next to her get on a bus & blow it all up for what? The lines have never been simple & only gotten more difficult to define as war changes like a disease they adapt. Polo & the plague use to be horrible things til cures were found & then most didnt have to worry about it but yet they continued to exist and evalve. THe flu & plague polo even are still here though maybe not in your city or town but they still are here & always adapting. How many years now have you heard about getting flu shots for something like a common flu but I thought it was harmless & for most they are. But their still here & every few years theirs an out break & everyone suddenly locks their doors & wears mask in fear of even "flu". There will always be war stop pretending there's even the possiblity of world peace. Once you accept that reality you'll understand life's complexities better.

    October 1, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      There will always be war as long as right-wing thugs gain power anywhere.It happened in Germany in 1933 with the rise of the Nazis and it happened here too,with both major political parties on the right and the MIC controling things from the inside.What we need is a moderate political party who will stand up to the MIC and seek peace in Central Asia!!!

      October 1, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • John

        That sounds like a classic example of 'Godwin's law' if you can't provide concrete evidence or factual proof for your argument quote something worse.

        October 1, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

        Oooo...look out! It's the "right wing thugs" and the "MIC" and the Tea Party!
        You left out the black helicopters and the spy satellites.

        Check your tinfoil hat for holes, Larry the Impostor.

        October 1, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. just a civilian

    it's on the backs of the strong that keeps our country going. i have total pride in all branches of our military. If you are not willing to join the few who risk everything for YOU then keep your small minded opinions to yourself. It's with the courage, conviction and total dedication that our military do what they do everyday no matter where they are stationed at. If you can't have pride our own country and the military that defends it....then go to any other country and see how many rights they don't have over there that you take for granted here!

    October 1, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  11. dindy Sri lanka

    Guys....be careful...Satan has come back to this page also...😦

    October 1, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  12. dindy Sri lanka

    Thank God for you !! AF mom

    October 1, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  13. AF Mom

    I'm a single mom in the AF. I have a terrific 11 year old son. For a year he had to live with his grandpa because I was out of the country. He had a rough time...snow mobiling, skiing, fishing, hunting and doing other guy things with my dad and brothers. Was it fun being away from him for a year? No. Would I do it again? Yes. In a heartbeat. You may say that we were't being invaded...but think again. There are terrorist cells in the US, Cananda and Mexico. Our activities overseas help to determine where those cells are and how much of a threat they pose. Most of what we do overseas is of a humanitarian nature. We are trying to build bridges and foster tolerance.
    I love my son. I love my country...and I love the 19 years of service.

    October 1, 2010 at 4:12 am | Report abuse |
    • dindy Sri lanka

      Just more of this sickening right-wing bla-bla-bla defending this obnoxious war.Anyone can dig up excuses for joining the military and going to war! Actually we have no right even to be over there!

      October 1, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • Danielmountain

        Daniel-2 you are a sick and twisted individual. Get some professional help.

        October 1, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

        How many different IDs are you going to post under, Paki?

        October 1, 2010 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

        I now see that Phunie boy's now calling everybody who doesn't like this obscene war a Paki Taliban.My name is Larry and I'm no Pakistani and I certainly detest this rotten war as any decent person with moral principles should!!!

        October 2, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • Danielmountain

        Daniel-2 You seriously need some professional help

        October 2, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • Daniel-2

        It seems to me to be the other way around,Danielmountain.At least,I'm not naive and you wouldn't be either if you studied history.For instance,do you know how the Nazis took control of Germany? I do.It was through the naivety of the people,believing in all that right-wing propaganda like the Tea Partiers do here in the US today!!!

        October 3, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • Danielmountain

        How are the Netherlands? still flat?

        October 4, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • AF Mom and AF Dad

      AF Mom, Great on ya for everything you have done, keep up the GREAT work. My husband and I are both active duty Air Force and have been for 19 years. We have 3 children that have adapted quite well with the deployments. We both have had multiple deployments during our service to our country. In fact, since 2007 I (the mother) have deployed twice. My husband was the superman that kept our family together. I am very thankful for the the places around the world I have been to include my deployments. My children get see places "civilians" do not get the opportunity to see. I love my life, my family and my job in the United States Air Force no matter what I do or where I go!!!

      October 6, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Soldier's daughter

    As the proud daughter of a US solider, I can say with all honesty that yes, its a hard life. As a child I wished Dad could be there for the birthdays and dance recitals and soccer games. But it made the ones he could make that much more special. And moving around frequently can suck – but you learn to adapt, be flexible, and the importance of family. I was aware, even as a small child, that there was a much bigger world out there; and unfortunately, not everyone was as fortunate as my family – that's where my Dad came in. Just because something is hard or challenging doesn't mean we should shy away from exposing our children to it. I learned that there are some things worth fighting for; that freedom isn't free; to have pride in my country; and to pursue your own passion and dream . . we all make choices in life – I support my Dad's choice, even for all the bumps. It made me the person I am today, so I am thankful. Also, it's pretty cool to spend a Saturday watching your Dad jump out of an airplane. And growing up believing that Prince Charming wears military dress blues. And for my brother, there was no greater hero than our Dad.

    September 30, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • dindy Sri lanka

      May God protect him always!!!

      October 1, 2010 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  15. American

    I do have sympathy for the soldiers fighting over seas I mean after all they didn't decide to go to war it was the government who decided to invade other countries.

    September 30, 2010 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      Yeah, and it was the "government" (Taliban) in Afghanistan who refused to turn over al Qaeda after they attacked us.
      But I suppose in your bleeding heart, you'd rather us try Clintonesque 10 years of sanctions because that always works well, right?

      October 1, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • UnAmerican

        You know , people like you really make me sick not knowing that it was the US WHO created the Al-Queda and the TALIBAN during the COLD WAR. It was US who created these evil people and gave them arms which they are now using against US. Russians invades Afghanistan and the US arms these the bandits and criminals in Afghanistan to fight the Russians who were the enemy of the US at that time who has now turned against US. Lets invade IRAQ cause they have NO WMDs BUT Mr Bush has a personal vendetta against Saddam. So lets send in the US troops to sacrifice their lives for Mr Bush's personal war. Ohh OK, so where is Al-Queda now? Ohh they moved to the mountains of Afghanistan, OK, lets send the troops to Afghanistan and sarifice more innocent souls for Mr Bush's personal war. It wasn't enough to hang Saddam, kill his sons and force his family out of Iraq. NO, we want more sacrifices. Lets see how much more innocent lives we can lose in the UNJUSTIFIED war against Iraqis and Afghanis. Yes, YOU sacrifice and Mr Bush and co make their millions and billions of dollars at the expense of innocent lives and sufferings of families like YOURs. Respect.

        October 4, 2010 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
  16. American

    I'm sorry CTCRJones but how exactly are you fighting for our freedom, our freedom was never at risk to begin with, nobody was invading us, we are the ones who invaded them

    September 30, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • CTCRJones

      American which I am not sure how you can say that considering your views, we do not need your sympathy nor do we want it. My husband sacrifices his life so you can sit at home and be ignorant and close minded. I would like to know what sacrifices you have ever made that were bigger than yourself. My husband and all the other soldiers in the United States Military are true heros and make daily sacrifices so you can have FREEDOM OF SPEECH! I do not fight for your freedom I sit at home praying I will see my husband again who is fighting for your freedom. We were ATTACKED and THOUSANDS of AMERICAN lives were lost on that day and our country is not weak we will fight back and they knew that, so if you do not feel as though they did anything wrong well then go live over there, Oh wait you wont do that will you but you will sit at home and judge all of us making daily sacrifices. Just Saying!!
      PROUD USAF WIFE AND AMERICAN!

      October 1, 2010 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Larry Valecia, Calif.US Army Forever...

      Yeah, cuz 9/11 never happened. We should always ignore our enemies when they attack us. It's always been a winning strategy in the past, I'm sure.

      Yeah, right, "American"! Why do I have doubts you really are an American? Oh, that's right–because if you are, you're either a conspiracy theorist or a left-wing nutjob who thinks Clinton did a great job tracking down the terrorists every time they struck us on his watch. Either way, your insignificance is noted.

      October 1, 2010 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • UnAmerican

      Well said American. A lot of people get brainwashed by the government into thinking that they are doing something noble when they send all these innocent souls into a war who think they are fighting for their freedom or to have freedom of speech. They are not questioning why they are there in the first place!! Yes, YOU are making sacrifices but WHY should I support that if the government is making YOU to sacrifice under false pretexts. WHO invited US to occupy Iraq who had nothing to do with 9/11?!! Do you know WHO really attacked US? and what about before 9/11?!! The CIA and FBI creating havoc in Latin America?!! Just because you are serving as a Marine or Airforce pilot DOES NOT give you the right to tell us people WHO have decided NOT to enter the military service that we don't know what we are talking about or what is right or wrong. All that aside, we are NOT ignoring the pain and suffering that the armed forces experience BUT that is part of the deal and that is the life style YOU have chosen. The SAD thing is that the government makes you sacrifice your life for the WRONG reasons. Respect

      October 4, 2010 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
  17. Onesmallvoice

    I wonder just how many of the young men in this country consider going to war to be fun and games.I guess that over 70% of them do.I just want to say that this war is obnoxious and there is absolutely no glory in it at all!!!

    September 30, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • CTCRJones

      Really because this war and what our Military does is allow you to have FREEDOM OF SPEECH! Most men & women join the military because they love their country and BELIEVE in what our country stands for!

      September 30, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jerry

        So did a lot of people in Germany back in the 1940's!!!

        September 30, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • 2ndDeployment

      Do you seriously believe that?! wow, my husband and I have both fought for your 'rights' to say that. We are not looking for glory, nor are any other Soldiers. Some people actually love their country enough to want to defend it and its' people. Even if it is people like you.

      September 30, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jerry

        Actually this obscene war has nothing to do with our "rights" or freedoms.Just more of that right-wing propaganda!!!

        September 30, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • USMC Forever

      Yeah, cuz I'm sure you know so many soldiers, eh, coward?
      Stuff your opinion. Go back to your X-Box and let the grownups talk.

      September 30, 2010 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • USMC Forever

        Sorry Onesmallvoice,Phunnie boy here just hijacked my name again and is trying to make a fool out of me. I like your posting since you seem to be more intelligent than most bloggers here.Thank you.

        September 30, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • USMC Forever

        Obviously I didn't write that above. It was written by a Paki Taliban supporter who wants to see us lose the war.

        October 1, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • Joe Navy

        LEB and JERRY, I am sure you only made your post to get attention. People who make these comments remind me of the same people who burn our flag. You do these things for attention, something that you either lacked as a child or currently in your adult life and this is your way of being like a child and throwing a fit. Anyway, I know for one that my children are happy I didn't wait 28 years to finish protecting the rights of ignorant people like you before I had them. As it stands they are very happy, secure and content unlike you. I feel sorry that you have had to go through your life acting out to get attention.

        October 5, 2010 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Once a Marine, Always a Marine,

      Most that volunteer don't seek 'glory',... only wish to serve their country in time of crisis,... you sight 70% as your guess to "how many join just for the fun of it",.... how much fun is getting shot at every day, bad food, worse lodging, being away from your family and friends with little contact, in a foreign country where your perception is one of "they're all out to kill me"?... Take a walk in their combat boots for a mile or so – then reply...

      October 1, 2010 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • dindy Sri lanka

      ONESMALLVOICE.... FOR FUN AND GAMES ..US HAVE LOTS OF SPACE. THEY DONT HAVE TO DEPLOY IN AFGHANISTAN FOR THAT. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE SOLDIERS .

      October 1, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Soldier's Angel

      Fun and games? You think that 19 yr old kid, fresh-faced and barely out of high school, walking through the dirty streets, catching glares of hatred while wearing dozens of pounds of gear in the unbearable heat thinks this is all fun and games. I am sure that the exhausted soldier whose been out on patrol for days thinks it is all fun and games when he's caught up in an IED explosion, watching his buddies die. I'm sure that Michael Monsoor & Ross McGinnis thought it was fun and games when they threw themselves onto grenades to save their comrades... and Marcus Luttrell too, when he was wounded and lost in the mountains of Afghanistan, after his entire team had been killed.
      Regardless of your stance on the war itself (and thanks to those brave men and women, you do have a right to your opinion), there is no excuse for demeaning those who choose service to their country. I wish that all of our soldiers were safe at home as much as the next person. However, I refuse to get into political BS when discussing my support for the men and women in uniform because, while I acknowledge that the WAR may be politically-motivated, then men and women who are in the military are NOT politicians, and they did not launch us into this war. THEY do not deserve to be the target of your scorn and uncalled-for speculation as to their thoughts and motivations.
      I am not advocating any side of any political agenda. I am making a broad statement that, regardless of what POLITICIANS do at the Capitol, these men and women are risking their lives. Should we ever face another fight for our freedoms, I would want these people on my side. They need and DESERVE our support, regardless of whether we agree with the war.

      October 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  18. LEB

    This is not going to be a well-received statement, but I really feel that soldiers should wait until their service is done and they've returned home to become parents. It's a lousy experience for a kid to only see their father twice a year for a few days. It would be better if they waited to get married, too. You can't have a relationship with someone who just isn't there.

    September 30, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • 2ndDeployment

      Some Soldiers stay in the Army until retirement, 20 years or more, and may be deployed in their last year. Should they wait to get married and have children? I am a former Soldier and my husband is on his 2nd deployment now. We have 2 small children, and granted it is hard maintaining a full-time job and small children at home, but I would not trade my marraige or children for anything. If anything, it has made us grow stronger as a couple and family. We don't take anything for granted as opposed to some of our 'civilian' counterparts. We cherish every holiday, school event, and family outing that we have. My children do miss their daddy, but they also know his job is important and are proud of him.

      September 30, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • AfghanistanDoc

      I love my daughter, my wife, and my country. Unfortunately, my job of defending your right to post comments on CNN.com remarking that I should not have children occasionally requires me to leave the country to go to hostile nations for months, or possibly years. I chose to volunteer, I did not choose to leave. Perhaps you should better understand and try to appreciate just how the men and women of the armed forces serve before voicing your opinions.

      September 30, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • AIPSO

        To AfghanistanDoc
        and any others who have gotten slack for being parents and in our armed forces, Thank you... You have a hard job. Your a parent, a soldier, a person. You do more than most Americans out here. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU, for all you do for this country, our families, and yours.

        October 1, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • MB303

        AfghanDoc, by choosing to serve you are choosing to leave. That is part of the gig. You sign up to serve and you sign up to leave. I am patriotic, in fact I work on a military base, but you are making a decision to serve and that does not make you any better or worse than anyone else. If LEB wants to make their statements, then part of that "freedom of speech" is not rubbing it in their face that you are the reason they have that speech.

        October 1, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jmoss

        Thank you and all like you for your sacrifices.

        October 2, 2010 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
      • nick k

        I'm not in the military, but I do appreciate you and the rest of the military men and women that serve our country, God Bless you and the whole entire military, these fools that come and make stupid comments just need to be ignored. Keep up the good work Doc

        October 6, 2010 at 6:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Ran

      Really? I have a 15 yr old son and 9 yr old daughter, been deployed 3 out of the last 5 years. You're right, I should have waited until my wife and I were in are 40's now to have children. I tell you, the problems we face can be solved so easily by those that have never faced the decisions, risks, or commitments that we face as active duty military.

      September 30, 2010 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marine

      You are an idiot. You have no conept of what it means to sacrifice something for your country and a greater cause. Being deployed is difficult but my family is stronger because of it. I am a dedicated husband and expecting father. The military has and will provide very well for my family. My family is proud of me and what I have done with my military career. I am setting a good example and leaving a legacy. What have yo done with your life?

      October 1, 2010 at 3:03 am | Report abuse |
      • Once a Marine, Always a Marine,

        Roger that!....

        October 1, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Once a Marine, Always a Marine,

      I was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps a few months after 9/11, and I will always wonder if I made the right decision – but that wonder is quickly washed away when I look at my life AFTER getting out – I have a loving wife, and 2 wonderful children that were both born with medical problems that would have been very, VERY difficult for a lonely, newly wed, single first-time mother to deal with on top of 'when will I see my new husband next' being that her family lived in California, my familly lived in Wisconsin, and we were stationed in South Carolina. I am glad that I waited to have a family AFTER getting out and at the age of 30, although I was still considered in the Inactive Reserves for the first 4 years of my marriage and fatherhood until the age of 34. There was always a chance I could have been called back to active duty – in fact, I'm surprised it didn't happen – but that was what I signed up for when I joined the Marine Corps – at the late age of 26 years old. I waited because it was a good choice for me,... for others, choices are different and seem much harder – I was LUCKY to not have to go back in after having a family – those who are on Active duty with a family have tough choices to make – many families face that hardship anew everyday. I hope a majority of them are as lucky as I was in their choices. Support the troops,... they support you.

      October 1, 2010 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
      • USMC Forever

        Enough of this right-wing bla-bla-bla already.I want to reiterate here that there's absolutely no glory in this obnoxious war! None whatever!!!

        October 2, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • dindy Sri lanka

      LEB ...NO BODY CAN FORGET CHILDREN"S DAD NO MATTER WHERE HE IS.

      October 1, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
      • UnAmerican

        I DID. The m...r f..er left my mum when I was 2 years old!! :-(((

        October 4, 2010 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Army wife

      Statements like these just show people ignorance with regards to military life. My husband will be going on his 2nd deployment and I will be home with our child. I am a full time physician, but fortunately I will have a lot of help from friends and family. The most important thing is that my daughter knows that her father loves her. There are many children who never see their father and they live in the same neighborhood or city. Many of these people continue to have children with no intention of ever seeing or supporting them. For me, that is so much worse.

      October 1, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • common sense

      Like civilian life for many relationships & suddenly becoming pregnant often happens unexpectedly particularly for those back from or just about to deploy. The fact that you LEB think that theres some plan or switch that soldiers or anyone really flip to have kids while in jobs that are anything but routine is insanely nieve. Alot of people join expecting to only serve a few years then decide to stay in & just like the decision to join there are many various reasons why people suddenly decide to stay in even making it their career instead of say getting out to become a lawyer or something. Life is hard for anyone police, military, politican, lawyers anyone. people have relationships all the time & go away to college or transfer jobs but because your job is here you may not go with but still want the relationship or feel it worth trying. The friendships & relationships can often help both parties through the difficulty not just of their situation but life in general. Some people like pilots or sale people do a lot of travelling even CEOs do. Lawyers may work long hours just as doctors so they shouldnt marry or have kids expected or not just because? Life is not as simple as it was 50 years ago. I know many people who are in the military even my parents & they have said that it was hard but also helped to keep things new & build the relationship stronger. In the end it's about feelings & materity & for people like you you don't like the idea because you know you couldnt handle it or at least havent found the right person who you see as being worth it. I live 20 miles away from my brother & 50 miles from parents yet hardly have time to see either set because their busy I'm busy even just found calls can be hard. Grow up a little before you judge other people. Some people can be 90 and still not mature enough to handle a relationship. There are just as many stories of hardship even when one stays home or when both partners live & worth together. Spending every minute has just as many risks too don't forget that.

      October 1, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • SoldierHusbandFatherMore

      LEB,

      Seriously? Do you have a clue what you are talking about? Where do you get this only twice a year for a couple of days BS? We may deploy for a year, with a mid-tour leave, but we are not deployed continuously for years upon years. I have a rediculously stable home life and my family and my sacrifices that we make are something that we take immense pride in. Yes, my son blesses my picture when I am gone. Yes, it is a challenge for all of us when I am gone. No, we would not trade it for anything at all. We understand the sacrifice and take measures to ensure that the time we do have is absolutely spent enjoying each other. We understand that those of us who are strong enough must step forward and do a tough job. We have a relationship at all times....including when I am gone. Just because I go away does not mean that our relationship ends or stops. Just because I can't physically hold my family does not mean that I am not a part of it.

      What about doctors and other professionals who work 70+ hours a week? I have a friend who sees his son for 5 minutes in the morning and maybe an hour at night. Should he also wait because he is gone a lot and works long hours?

      Your observation is rediculous and absoltuely unfounded. It is a shame that your information is so erronious and off the mark. It is a shame that you chose to attempt maligne those with honor. It is my pleasure to sacrifice my personal comfort for your freedom. It is too bad that you will never understand or feel the pride that my family and I do.

      October 1, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • UnAmerican

        We ALL have choices in life and LIVE by with OUR choices. At least WE have a choice but millions DON'T i.e. North Koreans, Iranians etc.. So don't come and cry to me and say "my pleasure to sacrifice my personal comfort for your freedom" .. We, all of US, THE TAXPAYERS are giving you the freedom of CHOICE to get paid while you are doing something whihc you seemt o enjoy!! We didn't ask YOU to do this, did we?!! or Didn't you decide to choose the army life over a normal one?!! You've MADE your CHOICE, period. Those who you say work 70 hours or whatever, have made THEIR CHOICE to work 70 hours. You are free to go and become a beach bum if you want and don't sacrifice anything or work 70 hours. You don't need to "sacrifice" so much for the WRONG CHOICES of the US government..!

        October 4, 2010 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • BeenThere

      I would propose that there are benefits to our troops being parents. After being a Marine and a parent, I see the added caution of not calling in an airstrike on a house if there could be innocent children inside. It adds more level headed thinking before you take out your frustrations on someone that may have their own children.

      October 4, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Soldier

      We have an all-volunteer force...men and women who willingly agreed to give of themselves to for their country. How many would sign up to be single for 20 years? I have an amazing wife and two wonderful children who have been through multiple deployments: they know what I do makes a difference, they come out stronger, and it makes us cherish our times together that much more. We find ways to stay in touch: we make it work. I think they are proud of me and I am darn sure proud of them.

      October 4, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe Navy

      I am sure you only made your post to get attention. People who make these comments remind me of the same people who burn our flag. You do these things for attention, something that you either lacked as a child or currently in your adult life and this is your way of being like a child and throwing a fit. Anyway, I know for one that my children are happy I didn't wait 28 years to finish protecting the rights of ignorant people like you before I had them. As it stands they are very happy, secure and content unlike you. I feel sorry that you have had to go through your life acting out to get attention.

      October 5, 2010 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |