Well, with Jadin anyway.
As some of you may know, my daughter is a single mom in the Air Force. Since her son was born 6 years ago, she has been deployed to the Middle East four times. Twice to Iraq, last year was Afghanistan, this year she has been in Qatar since February.
You may be thinking this is an awful lot of deployments for the Air Force and you'd be correct. Normally, the active duty Air Force doesn't deploy as often or for as long, but Renee is in a specialized unit called RED HORSE.
RED HORSE stands for Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers.
RED HORSE is a highly mobile civil engineering response force that supports contingency and special operations worldwide. They are self sufficient, mobile squadrons capable of rapid response and independent operations in remote, high-threat environments worldwide. They possess weapons, vehicles/equipment and vehicle maintenance, food service, supply and medical equipment.
Their major wartime responsibilities are to provide a highly mobile, rapidly deployable, civil engineering response force that is self-sufficient to perform heavy damage repair required for recovery of critical Air Force facilities and utility systems, and aircraft launch and recovery.
Basically, they are self-contained and are able to build bare bases form the ground up. They can provide their own equipment, personnel and security to go into a volatile area and build a new base or repair a damaged one.
Each RED HORSE unit possess special capabilities, such as water-well drilling, explosive demolition, quarry operations, concrete mobile operations, material testing, expedient facility erection, and concrete and asphalt paving.
So there's your little lesson on RED HORSE. More info can be found at the following links if you're interested.
RED HORSE 823rd
Anyway, Jadin has been very accommodating with all the changes and adjusts extremely well with each deployment. He will be starting first grade in a couple weeks and has many friends both here in Vermont and in Florida.
The past couple years he has even gotten to the point of saying to his mom, "Isn't it time for me to go to Nina's." He's got wanderlust at six years old.
The time has come for him to go back to Florida. My mother is taking him back next week so he can start school there, and Renee will be home the end of September. It's always a bag of mixed emotion. Both when we pick up Jadin and take him home. One of the hardest things I've ever had to do was bring him home with us and leave Renee there alone.
The same goes when Jadin has to leave. It's hard to be sad though, when I know he's getting his mommy back, and he'll be the first to tell you he loves us, but not as much as he loves his mommy.
So, Jadin has to go back to Florida, but is Renee is coming home soon. And really? That’s the best news of all.