For those left at home during an extended military activation, emotions run the gamut.
Rebecca James, 367th Family Readiness leader, wife and mother of two understands the emotional range. Her husband, Sgt. Randy James, has been gone since March. He is serving in Kuwait. But there are expectations he may be home soon.
"I'm excited he is possibly coming home, but how do you balance the emotions -- and the others coming home -- and yet this whole group leaving. Even my kids consider them family."
James said she has known many of the soldiers in the unit for a long time and knows they are comfortable with her when the teasing starts.
"They are like an extended family," she said.
Recently James was handing out her business cards as Family Readiness leader to departing soldiers and their families during a meeting to help familiarize them all with what to expect in the coming months.
James wants family members to know they can call her just to chit-chat or vent and do not need to wait for a question to arise or a crisis.
Most of what they are experiencing, she has already gone through. James has two children -- ages 14 and 9 -- at home. She understands the mood swings on the home front. She said the school district has been helpful and worked to support those children whose parents are deployed.
"You just learn and, you know, cope," James said. "... Keeping yourself busy is a big thing."
She said keeping the mind occupied helps, but she knows quiet time has its place.
"... downtime is when you get upset and you need those times, too, when you need to experience those emotions and talk."
James said while the troops put on a brave face and say they are energized by the chance to go overseas, there is another side when they actually are faced with leaving families and children behind for extended duty.
Family members may reach James to talk, for questions or if they find they are in need of support on a variety of issues at 828-3003.
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