Skip to comments.Family Finds Connection to Deployed Mom Online
Posted on 04/20/2010 6:39:51 PM PDT by SandRat
JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va., April 20, 2010 The Klein household was fairly typical: mom and dad worked, and their two rambunctious boys kept them busy the rest of the time. Mom was the snuggler, the reader of bedtime stories, the primary source of emotional support for the kids.
Each family has its own set of challenges, and I dont think ours are any worse or better than anyone elses, Jim said. But its been very challenging for me.
Jim made every arrangement he could to ease his familys strain during his wifes deployment. He spoke to people at his sons schools and the staff at the child development center here so they knew to expect signs of stress, and he hired additional help to keep the house running smoothly.
Jim said his older son, 9-year-old Joshua, stepped forward and took a lot of responsibility on himself perhaps more than he should at his age.
My wife thought it was the worst-case scenario [for her to deploy], he said, explaining that although he was close to his children, she was the one who offered solace and comfort with each hug and kiss. Were continuing to adjust.
I miss her being around me and talking to me, Joshua said. I miss her kissing and hugging me. I miss her in every way.
One big adjustment is coming up this Mothers Day on May 9 will be Nancys first without her children. Jim said due to his childrens ages -- his younger son, is 4 -- he thinks the holiday wont affect them nearly as much as it will affect their mother. Theyll continue to miss her, and theyll know its her special day, he said, but it will be especially hard for her.
She takes on being a mom to our boys as a big part of her identity, Jim said. So this Mothers Day, shell remember that shes not with her boys it underscores the separation.
But with every policy change thats been made regarding deployments, external changes have come to ease the strain. The Kleins have made extensive use of Skype, an online video chat application, to stay in touch. Joshua and Zachary can see and speak with their mother, show her their school work, and talk as if shes there in the room. Nancy can read books to the kids and show them the pictures to follow along.
E-mail and phones have been OK, but having the visual, face-to-face contact is really the best for us, Jim said.
I talk to her as much as I want because I love her so much, Zachary said. I miss her so much.
Another venue theyve discovered is the Hallmark Channels Meet My Mom virtual wall on Facebook. On the page, deployed troops and their families at home can upload photos of themselves and their moms, 60-second videos, or text messages. The page went public yesterday, allowing the shared messages to be seen by anyone who visits.
The page is tied in with the upcoming movie Meet My Mom, the story of a divorced mom who falls for her sons pen pal, a deployed soldier. The show will premiere May 8 on the Hallmark Channel.
OK, guys, what do you want to tell mom for Mothers Day? Jim asked, his kids piled in his lap at a computer, ready to post a message on the virtual wall. Should we say I love you, or We miss you?
The boys whispered between themselves, then quietly dictated a message to their dad.
OK, Jim said. That sounds good.
Special Report: Month of the Military Child
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