Family reunites during deployment
August 25, 2011
For one family, their deployment is out of the ordinary. A husband and wife were recently deployed together this year. Sgt. 1st Class Bruce Earley, the support operations branch noncommissioned officer-in-charge, and a Wells, N.Y., native, and Capt. Tara Earley, the operations officer, and a Grove City, Minn., native, are serving along side one another in the 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command at Joint Base Bald, Iraq.
The Earleys have been in the armed forces for several years and it's not their first deployment, however, it's their first deployment together.
Being deployed with a spouse has both benefits and challenges.
"We have to separate work and home [off-duty] and it's a challenge," Bruce said. "When we go home the military game face comes off, but then when we suit up for the next day, it's game on so to speak."
Tara has the same outlook about their deployment setting as her husband.
"It's a moral booster, I'd say for us being here together, but typically we try not to discuss work when we go home because we both have the supply background, and we both have the military background which can tend to lead to, not heated discussions. But he has his opinion and I have my opinion," she said.
Balancing the mission and their relationship can get stressful, but without a doubt, the couple is very thankful to be deployed together. They were also recently blessed with the news that they were going to have a family reunion here in Iraq.
The Earley's daughter, Desiree Coleman, followed her parent's footsteps not long ago and enlisted in the military. She is now currently deployed to Joint Base Balad as well.
"We were prepared for her deployment here because we knew that when she went to Germany there was a chance she was going to be deployed so, I jokingly told her try to go to JBB where we are going, we could be together as a family," Tara said.
Bruce said his first thought when he found out was, "Wow, we are all going to be together as a family."
He said his second thought was being a little worried with all the things that are happening and going on and it being another added worry, but he knows she pulls her own weight so he feels comfortable with that.
Coleman said she was at work the day she found out and called her mom immediately to share the good news.
"I was excited when I found out that I was coming here and I think it's brought us closer because we are all fighting for the same thing," said Airman 1st Class Coleman, a security forces member with the 332nd Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, and a Indianapolis, Ind., native.
Bruce mentioned how grateful he was that she could now see the efforts, hard work and investment service members are performing.
"I'm just honored that Desiree is here because back home the bad stuff is usually portrayed, and it's one added thing to our family that our daughter comes over here and can see the good stuff that's going on, the things that we are doing to try and help," Bruce said.
Coleman said it's a lot simpler for her to deal with this tour compared to the previous time her parents were deployed.
"It's easier and cooler because I get to see actually what's going on instead of wondering. I had no idea before now," she said.
The three of them spend quality time together by hanging out at their containerized housing unit watching movies, attending church and eating lunch together.
"I'm just glad that we get to spend time together," Tara said. "We all take advantage of the time we have together."
The three of them have plans to take a cruise as a family when they all return to the U.S.