I understand the impact deployment has on a family and a community probably more than anyone. My daddy was deployed in 2006 when I was five years old. At the time I did not really understand what was going on. I just really missed playing and spending time with my daddy. As I have gotten older, I understand that at that time I was being selfish because my father was helping to protect or country. He was making sure all little boys had time to play with their daddy.
When my daddy was gone it had a large impact on my mama, me and the rest of my family. At times I remember my mother looking like she had lost her favorite animal. Now I know those were the times she really missed my daddy. No matter how she felt, she always seemed to hold herself together around me. My mama played both roles of mama and daddy while he was gone. She tried to do most activities with me that I enjoyed doing with my daddy. One thing she was unable to do that I missed very much was hunting. No one knows exactly how it feels to a child during deployment unless you have been in that position before. I think I was well taken care of during that time by family and people who lived near me. Everyone was supportive and seemed to take a special interest in me. I am forever thankful for these people and to my daddy. He didn’t just protect me, he protected everyone. He was and still is my hero.