Talking it out - getting through deployment

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jarad A. Denton
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
"The hardest part of my deployment was being away from my wonderful and beautiful wife, Jenny," said Senior Airman Daniel Bolt, 28th Munitions Squadron aircraft armament systems journeyman.

Airman Bolt was part of a group of Airmen who returned home from a deployment to Southwest Asia in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, July 28.

He left behind his wife, Jenny Bolt, to take care of the day-to-day tasks associated with running a house.

"The hardest part of having a spouse who was deployed was doing everything by myself," she said. "I always thought of myself as a pretty independent individual; but not having my husband around made me realize just how much I rely on him for the little things like changing a light bulb in the ceiling fan."

Mrs. Bolt said dinner time was usually the worst time for her because she and Airman Bolt would always cook together and then eat at the kitchen table.

"Sitting at the dinner table by yourself is a very lonely thing," she said.

For Airman Bolt, his lowest emotional point came when he had to say goodbye to his wife outside the 28 MUNS building; he had to wait there for eight more hours knowing she was only a few blocks away. However, that moment was overshadowed the moment Airman Bolt stepped off the plane after his deployment, and into the arms of his wife.

"The best moment for me was coming home to my wife after all those months apart and the anticipation of being able to hold Jenny and just being physically close to her again," he said.

On the flip side, the worst moment for Mrs. Bolt was not having her husband around when her grandmother died. But, like her husband, all the bad moments were forgotten the day before Airman Bolt came home.

"I couldn't sleep at all the night before he ventured home, and even all the way up to him getting off that plane and being able to give him a hug and a kiss after all those months apart."

Both Airman Bolt and Mrs. Bolt said they were able to get through the deployment by keeping in regular communication with one another.

"The availability to call Jenny from my work every day and the convenience of wi-fi in my room for webcam, which let me actually see my wife, made getting through the deployment much easier," Airman Bolt said. "Also, the care packages Jenny sent me every two weeks made being deployed much more bearable."

Mrs. Bolt said, "The Hearts Apart calls offered to spouses and webcam chatting made the time apart much easier. But, the greatest support network was made up of my amazing friends, wonderful neighbors and the 28 MUNS key spouse program."

While this was Airman Bolt's first deployment, his wife was raised in a military family and experienced her father deploying quite frequently.

"Having your husband deploy is not comparable to having your father deploy," she said. "I figured if my mom could be strong during all of my dad's deployments, then so could I."

Mrs. Bolt and her husband both encourage Airmen and spouses going through deployment to find something interesting to occupy their time.

"Make sure you know who your key spouse is," Mrs. Bolt said. "Get involved with something productive on base, and get a hobby."

"Don't focus on the negatives of the deployment," Airman Bolt said. "Find something you really like to do and stick with it. Improve yourself somehow, take college classes and work out. Improve your career, volunteer for extra duties and before you know it you will be on your way home."