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A warrior left behind

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kaitlyn Brewer
  • 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Staci Farland’s normal routine is getting her daughter ready every morning, doing chores, and having dinner ready by the time her husband comes home. It was not until she sat down to have dinner with her one year old daughter, that it hit her again, like it did every day since he had left for his deployment. He would not be coming home for several months.

Before Farland was involved in any spouse groups, life was very difficult not knowing if her husband was safe, or when he was coming home and not having any kind of support system while he was away.

The little things such as having dinner ready by a certain time and having help when the cars break down to raising their daughter alone were more challenging.

Her first time being home while her husband was deployed was difficult for her because she did not yet understand the intricacies of how a deployment worked, or what it was like with her husband gone.

Now that her daughter is older and capable of missing her father it is still tough raising her alone and being both the loving mother and stern discipliner. Having access to great resources makes it bearable.

“It’s a lot easier because they have family bowling and hearts apart dinner and it really helps me socialize since my life just consists of my daughter,” said Farland.

Shaw offers many programs for the spouses, such as Give Parents a Break, various dinners, Mommy and me classes, and renting bowling lanes, meant to help make life a little less stressful for spouses left behind during their partners' deployments. Farland finds information on various events in pamphlets placed at 20th Force Support Squadron celebrations, such as Frosty Fest, as well as from the Airmen and Family Readiness center.

Farland learned about a money and car giveaway the 20th FSS was recently hosting to give back to the community. Ticket holders for the car had to be present to receive the prize. The odds of winning the car were 1:32, and Farland was announced as the winner on the last day.

“The hardest part was when I won the car, I wanted to turn and hug my husband, to celebrate with him, but luckily a lady hugged me and it was something I really needed at that point,” said Farland. “I’m grateful to everyone who keeps me going.”

Amanda Carlson, Farland’s mom, said the deployment has been a very trying time for her daughter, however being raised in a military household has prepared her.

“She has a dual support system right now, between us helping her watch her daughter and Shaw having a lot of functions for the spouses,” said Carlson.

The love from the family has been a major support system for her.

The Shaw Airmen and Family Readiness Center always goes the extra mile to help the spouses left behind.

If it wasn’t for the help and support she receives from Shaw, Farland would not get out and socialize, her daughter would not be able to interact with other kids, and she would not have the insight she has now about what her husband is doing and his safety, Farland said.