Home and Away
How does one family handle the deployment of a husband and father?
BY: Jana Melpolder
David: That’s a great question. I think something that Nancy did is that, rather than just sort of marking time while I was gone and crossing the dates off the calendar, [she] had a series of projects that she tried to do. (Not just so that our family would endure while I was gone but I would come back to a better family [too]). And so she was incredibly industrious and I think that that really helped the time pass. And then the other thing was you can’t be afraid to ask for help. You know there is no shame when you live in a military community where people are more familiar with deployment experience. There’s no shame in asking for help. There [are a] lot of people around you that will actually view their help for you and their assistance for you as in some small way their own way of helping out with supporting the troops. Supporting the war effort and being good citizens. And so don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Nancy: While he was gone just knowing that God was in control of his life and death. And it’s not really something that you have to accept but that’s just the way it is anyway. You know that’s just the reality of it and once you let that reality sink into your soul you just feel a lot less anxious. And so I really did not worry as much as people figured just because I just really trusted [that] this is what God wanted us to do. And that ultimately the outcome would be His. And so you just have to look at it the right way because this could be really bad; it’s terrible and inconvenient, difficult and emotional. And it was all of those things but it was also something that we endured and came out better for it.
David: Military service is so rare, you know I think less than one-third of one percent of Americans have been deployed in the tour. One of the things that I hope to accomplish with this book is tell the story of some of those heros that I served with. It was my privilege to be with them and to do what I could to help them. But it was the guys that I served with who helped turn the tide in the war in Iraq, and many of the guys that I served with didn’t come home. And it’s my privilege to be able to tell at least a little bit of their stories: the things that they did and the sacrifices that they bore.