Volunteer's willpower helps during spouse's first deployment
May 10, 2010
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii-When one thinks of being married, the thought of always having the loved one physically present comes to mind.
For Michelle Kent, an enthusiastic Family Readiness Group member, learning to cope with the absence of her husband Staff Sgt. Glen Kent an infantryman with Co. A, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, taught her the necessity of staying focused with constructive activities and being actively involved in a strong support group.
During a ceremony held on April 6, more than a dozen Family Readiness Group members were recognized by leaders of the brigade for their involvement in helping the community while their spouses were deployed.
Kent represents just one of the selfless spouses who were recognized for their volunteering that day.
Michelle's story began humbly as she started her whole life within the safety net of her hometown of Chicago, Ill. But upon marrying her husband Glen, she became the first in her family to leave and start her own family in Hawaii.
When it came time for Glen to deploy, she decided to stay on the island with intentions to brace the challenge of continuing the family she left her hometown to begin.
The Kent's experienced their first deployment with a four-year marriage under their belt knowing that their time apart could be both challenging as individuals and rewarding.
"I chose not to go home because I realized that when you don't have close ones to lean on it forces you to grow emotional into a stronger person, this has been the case for me," she explained.
Kent said that her victory started in how she viewed her situation. Instead of being paralyzed by the fact she would be separated from Glen for a year, she decided to keep herself busy by working part time as a circuit fitness trainer and enrolling at Hawaii Pacific University as a full time student.
Her husband's unit FRG program served as a lifeline to other spouses going
through the same challenges she faced.
"The loneliest nights are when you don't have anything to do...so you have to keep yourself busy. Also having friends who understand what you are experiencing is very important. By staying actively involved with the other women of the FRG helped me to stay encouraged for my marriage," Kent said as she explained a main challenge of being the spouse of a deployed Soldier.