Let down by news, but she's bearing up

First Person

April 22, 2004|By Larry Bingham

Like several thousand other military wives, Suzy Yates, 22, recently received news her husband, Sgt. Corey Yates, 26, stationed at Fort Polk, La., and due home at the end of this month, will stay in Iraq on an extended tour of duty.

We actually got official word through our lieutenant colonel's wife. I also heard from my husband that day, and I think at first he was trying to see if I knew. He wasn't sure how long it would take to get over here.

"He said, `I have some bad news to tell you,' and I said, `What is it?' and he said, `We've been extended.' And at that point I tried to stay strong for my husband because the soldiers over there are having it twice as hard as we are over here.

"I have family here, well not here in Lousiana, but there are other ladies here going through the same things as me. But he's away from family and his friends aren't in the military and it's hard on him.

"When I got off the phone, I took a moment for myself. It's a tough thing to hear and at first I was like, you know, this is a dream; it's not happening. After that, my persepective on it is I consider this as actually an honor for my husband and I look at it this way: His unit is doing something right. They asked them to stay longer; they knew what they were doing and it could possibly save the lives of a lot more soldiers because they are more experienced than a lot of the young soldiers. I understand it and I can justify it for myself.

"The way I look at it, and this is what my husband told me, it came straight from his mouth, he knows his job. He knows what he's doing and this is what they've been trained for, this type of situation, so he reassures me that everything is OK and not to worry and him and his soldiers take care of each other.

"It was disappointing. It was so close to them coming home and you have all your stuff up and some ladies planned trips, cruises, that kind of stuff. There was a lot of anticipation and then there was a let down. As a military wife you have to be prepared for that. When you join the military, you never know. It was always a possibility."

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