Home for the Holidays - Perez
Home for the holidays - Specialist Jaruz Perez, assigned to the 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, hugs his wife, Monica, and daughter, Sindy, at a welcome home ceremony at Cottrell Field, Dec. 5, after returning from a 14-month deployment.

<b> FORT STEWART, GA </b> -- For those outside the military, the holiday season is usually filled with Family, friends and decorations.

For servicemembers and their Families, not every holiday season is spent together.. So, whenever they get the chance, Soldiers and their Families make up for the lost time away from each other.

Monica Perez, wife of Spc. Jaruz Perez, assigned to 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, said missing last year's holiday season with her husband was due to the brigade's deployment.

"I was with my Family, so it was a little bit easier to be around everyone and not be by myself," she said.

With the continuous separation and missing major holidays and mile stones, it brings the fear of missing too much, Perez said.

"I can't wait till he gets here, I'm just afraid (our daughter) isn't going to recognize him," Perez said. "But she will be fine after a couple a days." Though Soldiers and Families missed spending last year's holiday seasons together; it didn't mean everything stood still, said Perez.

Through letters, e-mails, videos and photos, she, like many other Families with deployed Soldiers were able to witness each others, holiday even though they were separated by thousands of miles.

"Letters, phone calls, and just raising (our daughter) were the easiest ways to get through it," Perez said. "Just to look at her everyday day, she is a reminder of him, knowing that he will be home soon."

Vanguard Brigades Soldiers are expecting to be home prior to the holidays.
"It is going to be great; we are going to start our own traditions," Perez said. "This will be the first Christmas together (with daughter)."

Despite the difficulty of missing the holidays with their Families, Soldiers continue to serve their country, knowing that they are not alone and that their Families are back home waiting for their return.

Families understand that even with the constant separations the Army brings, there will always be the part where we all will be together again, Perez said.

Page last updated Fri December 12th, 2008 at 13:31