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Humans of the Rocky Mountain Southwest of August 17, 2017

John Freeburg Photo by Debi Sporleder

If you ask most folks, I think they’d say that getting shot at is probably the worst part of Army life. Well of course that pretty much sucks, but I don’t think that’s the worst. Leaving your family for a year or more at a time is tops in my book.

Early on in my Army life, before the family, I became a Special Operations Officer (SpecOps for the kids). That meant numerous deployments for long periods of time. Not really much of a problem at first, but once the boys were born (I have three), it became harder and harder to leave. Of course, it’s what you make it. Marcy, my wife, took up the habit of requiring ice cream as the main course of every meal for the first day after I’d left. And with three boys in tow everywhere she went, being all mopey just wasn’t gonna cut it.

I remember a deployment to Sarajevo when I thought it would be a funny idea to tell my oldest, about 7 years old then, that when I was gone, he was the man of the house and could go to bed when he liked. Well you can imagine what Marcy had to say the first time I got to a chance to call home. I think her exact words were. “You better talk to that boy before you only have two boys left.” I guess moms and dads have different senses of humor.

Later, once the Middle East wars had kicked off, I had to leave for what turned out to be 14 months. Just before I left, I off handedly told the middle boy that he’d be 5 years old when I got back. Just a word of advice, 5-year-old boys take everything literally. So once again, when I could, I called home to a very upset mom. Seems the boy refused to have cake or presents because his “dad said I wouldn’t be 5 until he got back”.

All in all, I’m glad to be back here, doing normal things and being home every night…but the boys still miss those ice cream days.