Supporting Students With Deployed Parents

By Lawrence Hardy

“Why does Daddy have to go back?” 7-year-old Tyler kept asking.

It had been three years since Tyler’s father, a U.S. Army captain, returned from Iraq after a seven-month deployment. Now he was leaving again -- for an even longer tour -- and the boy was nervous and upset.

“Well, there are other daddies who have been in Iraq, and they have to come home to see their kids,” Tyler’s mother, Alison Sakimura explained as best she could. “And other daddies have to go” and take their place.

The boy asked: Will Daddy come back?

Sakimura answered truthfully: “Daddy wears a helmet to protect his head, and a vest to protect his heart, and carries a weapon. We just have to pray to God to watch over him.”

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