Families welcome Soldiers home
October 15, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (October 11, 2012) -- Thirteen Soldiers from the 164th Theater Airfield Operations Group returned to Family and friends at Fort Rucker after an eight-month deployment in Afghanistan during a ceremony at the Spiritual Life Center Oct. 8.
The returning men and women deployed in February at the special request of U.S. Army Central Command, according to Lt. Col. Terry Meyer, rear detachment commander for the 164th TAOG. "Since then, they have traveled extensively throughout Afghanistan assisting U.S. Army formations, large and small, and managed to support airfields, coordinate air traffic control services and conduct more than 30 maintenance contact missions," he said. "Each [Soldier] has done their very best to make our military operations the great success that it is today."
Capt. Brad Deloach, 164th TAOG, said that he felt great to finally be back on Fort Rucker with his wife.
"It feels awesome to finally be back. It's been a long time and this was a long trip," he said. "This was my second deployment and it's always tough being away from the Family."
"It feels great to have him back," said his wife, Rebecca. "This deployment was a lot different from the first, mainly because we had additional children this time and it makes it a little bit harder having to be away from your Family."
The Deloaches maintained communication by calling, video chatting, Internet phone calls, mail and email.
"We talked every day if we could, but sometimes I'd travel for a couple weeks at a time and we couldn't talk," said Brad. "It's especially tough because you can't tell your spouse what you're doing when you're deployed."
Rebecca stayed busy while her husband was overseas by studying and writing papers, as well as watching after their two children.
"I'm in grad school, so I spent a lot of time writing and stuff like that, but mainly, I spent my time being mom," she said. "I just focused on the kids and made sure that they were good and well adjusted. With children, deployments are a lot different because they don't understand, so filling their time and filling the void for them was the tough part."
Sabrina Gaunya, wife of Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Gaunya who was deployed, also said that her daughter is what kept her busy most of the time while her husband was away.
"Having a child keeps you really busy, so we would just go out and do stuff together," she said. "We would go to the zoo and a lot of shopping was involved -- just doing things to stay occupied."
This was Jeffrey's third deployment and he said that being away from his wife and daughter was the hardest part.
"They say that it gets easier with time, but this is my third time and it never seems to," he said. "I was a little nervous about coming back at first because I didn't know how my daughter would react because I've been gone so long. I'm just really glad to be back."