Saturday, November 13, 2010

While You Were Gone

“She didn’t cry in front of us when she left, and as I drove away I thought, ‘Now, what the heck am I going to do now?’” says Barry Rose, whose wife Lt. Col. Michelle Rose is deployed in Afghanistan with Virginia National Guard’s Virginia Beach-based 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion. The Roses are parents to three daughters, Michaela, 13, Barrett, 9, and Bobbie, 5, all of whom keep their father busy, shuttling between gymnastics, horseback riding and supervised homework each night. “I’ve been really proud of the way they’ve handled this,” says Barry. “They stay busy, and that keeps me busy.”

Barry, a retired Army man who met his wife in ROTC at North Carolina State, recalls their decision early in their marriage to hold off on having kids until they were out of danger of both being deployed at the same time. This is their first deployment with children, and it’s teaching Barry a new appreciation for single parents. “Our kids are independent to begin with, but they’re also at an age where they take care of one another. Every weekend, though, we count another week down to when this deployment will be over.”

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