Local News

Waiting Game Can Be Difficult For Military Families

Posted September 19, 2001 5:12 a.m. EDT

— Fort Bragg soldiers have not been deployed yet, but they could be some of the first to go. Military families are already preparing for what could be months of separation.

It has been an emotional week for military spouse Kim Smith. Her husband is a soldier with the 82nd Airborne Division. He and other soldiers do not know when or if he will be deployed, but they can be ready within 18 hours.

"It seems like I think I'm OK and I start getting on with my routine -- grocery shopping, cooking dinner or whatever, but then someone will come by to me with tears in their eyes and the whole thing will hit me again," Smith said.

While she is somewhat anxious, she says her husband is going on with the routine. Army leaders say the waiting game is not as difficult for the soldiers as it is for families.

"As professional soldiers, we recognize that this develops over time, so we are going to give this enough time to develop into a detailed plan of action that we can institute," said Col. Roger King of the Fort Bragg Public Affairs Office.

Smith realizes that last week's events has even affected her daughter. The 4-year-old knew that her father had a job to do.

"When he came home, she said, 'Daddy, I'm counting on you. You go get those bad guys,'" she said.

Smith said she had been so busy that she did not realize that her five-year wedding anniversary was only two days away.

Wednesday nights are often when people get together for worship, but tonight, the clergy in Fayetteville and Cumberland County are calling it to be a day of prayer and fasting. They are asking everyone to do this in honor of the families, the nation and the armed forces.