Volunteer’s willpower helps during spouse’s first deployment

| April 30, 2010 | 2 Comments

Spc. Jazz Burney
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division

Family readiness groups offer support lifelines for spouses 

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — When thinking about marriage, usually the loved one is physically present.

KentFor Michelle Kent, learning to cope with the absence of her husband, Staff Sgt. Glen Kent, an infantryman with Company A, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, taught her the necessity of staying focused with constructive activities and being actively involved in a strong support group like the unit’s family readiness group.

During a ceremony, earlier this month, more than a dozen FRG members were recognized by leaders of the brigade for their involvement in helping the community while their spouses were deployed. Kent represents just one of the selfless spouses who were recognized for their volunteering. 

Upon marrying her husband, Kent became the first in her family to leave her hometown of Chicago and start her own family in Hawaii. When it came time for Glen to deploy, Kent decided to stay on island with the intention of embracing the challenge of continuing the family she left her hometown to begin.

The Kents experienced their first deployment with a four-year marriage under their belt, knowing that their time apart could be both individually challenging  and rewarding.

“I chose not to go home because I realized that when you don’t have close ones to lean on, it forces you to grow emotionally into a stronger person. This has been the case for me,” she explained.

Kent said that her personal victory started in how she viewed her situation. Instead of being paralyzed by the fact she would be separated from her husband for a year, she decided to keep herself busy by working part-time as a circuit fitness trainer and enrolling at Hawaii Pacific University as a full-time student. 

Plus, her husband’s unit FRG program served as a lifeline to other spouses going through the same challenges she faced.

“The loneliest nights are when you don’t have anything to do … so you have to keep yourself busy,” she said. “Having friends who understand what you are experiencing is very important.” 

The main challenge of being the spouse of a deployed Soldier is staying positive, she said.

“Staying actively involved with the other women of the FRG helped me to stay encouraged for my marriage,” Kent said.

Category: Community

Comments (2)

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  1. Dana Welch says:

    Michelle is a great example of a true friend and fabulous FRG leader. 2-35 has been blessed that she reached outside of herself to help those around her!

  2. Danielle Hendrickson says:

    Michelle is AWESOME!!! A CO hearts our FRG leader. 🙂

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