On New Year’s Eve, Bri’anna Ferry’s husband, a Fort Bragg soldier, received a call that he’d need to deploy to the Middle East, and within hours he was on a plane out of North Carolina, the Associated Press reported.
This mother of a nearly 1-year-old daughter doesn’t know where her husband has landed. Speaking with NBC’s Today, Ferry said she is “trying to stay positive and have more good days than bad days, but it’s really hard.”
Ferry’s husband is one of some 3,500 soldiers expected to all be shipped out by mid-week from the United States Army’s 82nd Airborne Division’s Immediate Response Force. The troops were ordered to the Middle East as part of one of the nation’s largest quick deployments in decades, as tensions rise with Iran following the killing of Major General Qassem Soleimani, a top Iranian commander, in an airstrike that President Donald Trump ordered, the New York Times reported.
The soldiers in this rapid-response force must be ready to drop their lives at a moment’s notice. April Shumard’s husband was home caring for the couple’s five children while she was at work at a day spa when he received a call to report to the base, according to the AP.
He soon texted her: “We’re leaving tomorrow.”
Shumard told the outlet, “The kids kept going, ‘When’s Dad going to be home?’”
This rapid change in life circumstances can be extraordinarily stressful for those left behind.
“I’m slowly losing my sanity,” wrote the pregnant wife of a soldier on Facebook, according to the New York Times. The woman said she was 12 hours from her nearest family member.
And Taylor Smith is worried about the imminent deployment of a friend whose wife has a high-risk pregnancy and is due soon, CNN reported. On Sunday night at the Berean Baptist Church, Smith asked the congregation for prayers.
“We believe he’s leaving somewhere around Tuesday,” Smith told CNN, “and his wife is due Wednesday.”
However, Smith noted that the military community surrounding Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina, is there to help those left behind.
“Fayetteville’s unique in that situation,” he told CNN. “Neighbors take out for neighbors. And that’s one of the things we learn here: love thy neighbor.”
Shumard described Fayetteville the same way.
“This was so last-minute,” she told the Associated Press while asking people to reach out to the families of the 82nd Airborne. “Just try to help out whoever you know who might need some babysitting or help or just get some groceries and bring it to their house.”