By Wes Pimentel & Lisa Southall Contributing Writers to the Hawaii Army WeeklyNovember 3, 2009
HONOLULU Aca,!" With a husband in Iraq and his Jeep left behind, what's his wife to do besides change the oil, check the pressure in the tires, or contemplate the next Jeep toy to buy'
The wives of several aviation units' Soldiers can tell you.
Whether it is running a marathon, playing Bunco or joining a gym, spouses of deployed aviation Soldiers are finding common ground, often while off-roading.
Proving that military families persevere in the face of deployments, and make the best of any situation, the informal spouses group plans outings and activities to not only support one another, but also to have something to share with their husbands while deployed.
Knowing how much their Soldiers must miss their precious toys and their wives, fearless Jeep driver Tonya Goretski, whose husband is with the 3rd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, put together an outing intended to give the boys a little taste of what they're missing.
"It is a way to get together and show the guys we love them and that we are doing OK," said Goretski. "(It's fun to) tease them a little bit too.
Armed with video cameras, clips of each adventure are sent to the Soldiers, who gather tightly around whichever monitor is free at the time and commence to cheer and jeer one another about the events caught on video.
Photos are also sent downrange to give the Soldiers a picture of all of their favorite things: Jeeps, family, wives and fellowship.
The Jeeps proudly bear scars from outings to Peacock Flats and Kaena Point, each scratch and dent telling a different story.
These events often leave marks on the vehicles, and sometimes even emotional ones on the passengers.
As the countdown to redeployment continues, these wives look forward to the future - future expeditions, shared stories and the return of loved ones.
Any place is what you make of it, and Hawaii is no exception. Oahu is a great place to be and offers unique experiences and opportunities for adventure.
In this case, the absence of the men leaves room for the women to form a stronger social bond and rely on one another for mutual support and assistance.