Local News

Fort Bragg Thanks Soldiers' Spouses For Their Support

Posted May 6, 2004 4:38 a.m. EDT

— From reservists to active duty, thousands of North Carolina families are dealing with deployments.

Thursday, the 82nd Airborne recognized 350 spouses, praising them with music and applause -- attention usually saved for the soldiers.

While soldiers are serving the country, in many cases, their wives and husbands are back home serving the community.

Like many, Tonya Wilkinson ends up raising children on her own. Still, she finds time to help other families.

"We only have each other," she said. "That next door neighbor, that person from your unit, is going to understand exactly what you are going through."

Military spouses volunteer in all sorts of ways. Some help out at school, some make care packages to send to soldiers who are deployed and others take on more emotional roles.

Many spouses put their own feelings aside to comfort families when their soldiers are killed.

The spouses have collectively volunteered thousands of hours at Fort Bragg. Some husbands and wives pitched in hundreds of hours all on their own.