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Extended Deployment Takes Family by Surprise

Posted April 12, 2007
Updated April 13, 2007

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— Susan Shue was watching TV Wednesday when she got the news.

Her husband, who has been in Afghanistan since January, will have to stay overseas longer than expected.

It's the kind of news soldiers and their families shudder to hear: Your deployment is extended.

The military just decided that instead of yearlong tours, all active-duty Army troops will spend 15 months overseas.

The news is bad enough, but many families at Fort Bragg didn’t like the way it was delivered, including Shue of Fayetteville.

“To have it sprung on [the troops]. For my husband to wake up in the morning and read it on the Internet,” she said.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates was also angry about the media leak.

“I’ll be very blunt. Some very thoughtless person in this building made the unilateral decision yesterday to deny the Army the opportunity to notify unit commanders,” he said.

Secretary Gates said with this new deployment standard, troops can stay home for 12 months before re-deploying. In the past, there have been Fort Bragg troops who returned home for a couple of months -- only to be deployed again.

Major Tom Earnhardt, 82nd Airborne spokesman, said it's too early to know how this will affect Fort Bragg units.

With two kids and a dog to care for, a lawn to mow, plus the neighbor’s kids she babysits, Shue has her hands full.

“You don’t have someone at the end of the night to lay next to in bed and just say, ‘Whoa! The day I had! You know, you would never believe it,’” she said.

124 Comments

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  • proud_army_wife2 Apr 22, 2007

    Whether or not I agree with the war; I will share that with my state representative so that he/she can put it to a vote in congress.

    Frankly, I am not happy about having my husband gone either but he choose this job, and as a PROUD army wife I choose to stand by him reguardless of where they send him, and for any amount of time that he will be gone. WHAT HAPPENED TO SUPPORT OUR TROOPS! I would suggest to you if your husband plans on making this a career to simplify your life, rediscuss your options for employment elsewhere, or if supporting what your husband does for a living is too much of an inconvience for you maybe you need to get out of your relationship. It would make it easier on you and your husband. I agree with the job my husband does I would want him to know that everything is taken care of at home. You may take offense but maybe you need to get rid of your dog and stop babysitting your neighbor's kids!

  • Sophia357 Apr 19, 2007

    Too all, what the media won't tell you is that this soldier has just re-enlisted. With full knowledge that he will deploy again! What does this say about what he thinks of his "sacrifice?" Why are the people who have never served the ones to always cry and moan about deployment or security? The green zone is still in Iraq and is probably more secure than most inner cities in america. Cry about that! I come form the lower "glass" and have felt safer in Iraq and Afghanistan that in most american locations. Protest that! While our kids and fellow americans die everyday for drugs, money and clothes, you people spend time and energy resisting the ones who volunteer to fight the war that we all "should" want to win. This is not a war for land or who can rule the most lands, however this is a struggle for right! We have an obligation to defeat injustice where ever it attempts to rise. So Mr/Mrs. anti-war person please look at your efforts before condeming what we do.

    An American soldie

  • NCTeacher Apr 17, 2007

    I just want to say thank you to our nation's military for all the hard work they have put in protecting our country and the freedom we have.

    If anyone should have a dog in this fight, it should be the military families that it affects. The rest of us should just shut up, stand by, salute them and thank them for risking their lives so we can continue to live ours.

  • strolling bones Apr 13, 2007

    It is easy to be all for freedom of speech when you agree with the speaker ....much harder when you dont. Nothing 99 has said is "unamerican".

    Reasons to be ashamed of the United States:

    extremely high mortality infant rate for an industrialize country

    disparity between the upper glasses and the lower glasses (rates right up there with Brazil)

    No health care system in place for the entire population, oddly enough we cannot afford this and war.

    The biggest industries in many southern states is jailing people.

    Again my country right or wrong...if right support it...if wrong correct it....

    to do this will take americans of all kinds..we really need to stop fighting against one another in this and be good citzens. Demand leadership, elect leaders not on tv commericals nor by party but by their honesty and virtues. Look at the field we have now..anyone you can really point a finger at and be proud of? I am talking the top contenders in either party.

  • yacs Apr 13, 2007

    Hang in there, Mrs. Shue!

  • Pack Rules Apr 13, 2007

    Take care Master Sergent!

  • MSgt J Apr 13, 2007

    Packhead I appreciate your support and I will pass on to fellow Marines and sailors here what you have said.

    99 I appreciate your opinions. I don't agree with them but I will stand by your right to express them. I just ask that you get the whole truth and not just half of the truth before you formulate your opinions.

    All of you have a wonderful day. I have to go and enjoy this beautiful Florida weather with a nice long run. Gotta stay in shape to hunt down the good guys (Al Qaeda) that have never done anything to us nasty Americans.

  • MSgt J Apr 13, 2007

    If you can't go to Iraq then how can you give us so much educated and obviously true information? Because you get it from the media. Talk to those of us who have been there and ask our opinions and ask what we saw. I think you would get a better understanding. There was ayoung Army officer on Neal Boortz the other day that was in tears talking to him. He was begging that America let us fight and win this war. He was explaining how the Iraqi's want our help. You guys don't get that from the news. There are always 2 sides to every story. Try listening to ours. You may have a different perspective. That is if you aren't so narrow minded.

  • MSgt J Apr 13, 2007

    You should have understood my comment about not going to church because I don't need to be told how to read the Bible. This should tell you that I don't just follow. I sir or madame am a leader of Marines. I question anything that doesn't feel right. I have my own mind and I use it. You obviously don't support anything but yourself and you are entitled. Just don't try to push your rhetoric on those of us that give you that right. It's so funny how veterans like Packhead seem to understand and those that have never served don't have a clue but yet they know it all. If you are such an inteligent being that knows what we are doing is wrong then run for office and fix it. I hope to someday run for office and I hope that I can implement change and I will always support our fighting men and women no matter what.

  • ninenine99 Apr 13, 2007

    I couldn't go to Iraq even if I wanted to. The "Green Zone" isn't even secure.

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