SOUTHWEST ASIA -- For any military couple, to be able to spend a 10th wedding anniversary together is a treat. To hold that anniversary together while deployed is whole different story.
Tech. Sgt. Wendy Hood is a command post craftsman with the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing while her husband, Tech. Sgt. Robert Hood, is an explosive ordnance technician with the 380th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron. They are both deployed together for the first time to a non-disclosed base in Southwest Asia and celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary on April 22.
"Being deployed together is like we're courting each other all over again," said Sergeant Robert Hood, noting they strictly adhere to all required deployment guidance and community standards such as the requirement to stay in separate quarters. "We spend time with each other when schedules allow it, but we also realize our deployed work takes priority. But to be together at the same base for our 10th anniversary is something special."
Between the two of them they have nine deployments completed since they were married on April 22, 2000 - five for her and four for him. They also first met while on a deployment in January 1998. At the time, Sergeant Wendy Hood was also a civil engineer structures Airman and they were in the same squadron at the same base, but never really knew each other.
"I used to say hi to her back then, but apparently she didn't notice me," Sergeant Robert Hood said jokingly.
"We may have crossed paths once or twice before we first met, but that's his story -- not mine," Sergeant Wendy Hood added in retort.
During their 10-year marriage, in between other deployments and temporary duty assignments, they've found it's taken an extra effort by each of them to have a successful union.
"We have to make time to make it work," Sergeant Wendy Hood said. "Finding ways to have that quality time to communicate and grow our relationship can be the toughest thing to do with our situation, but it is one of the most important things."
Sergeant Robert Hood recalled their separation by deployment after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania. He said they spent more than eight months apart at that time deployed to separate locations in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.
"That was the longest we were ever apart," he said. "But through perseverance we communicated regularly and felt as close to each other as we do today."
On their current deployment, Sergeant Robert Hood found out he was deploying to the same base his wife was deployed to last November. His wife said the unexpected time together has helped being overseas a little easier.
"It's so nice just to be able to spend time with him here instead of him being a voice on the other end of the phone," Sergeant Wendy Hood said. "Here we get to have dinner together at the dining facility or watch a movie together or just talk. Like Rob said, it's like we're courting each other again."
By the time Sergeant Wendy Hood departs the 380th AEW area of operations, they will have had more than 60 days together they wouldn't have had together of each had deployed elsewhere.
"I'm definitely grateful for this time we've had together here," Sergeant Robert Hood said. "We've had a busy married life with a lot of separations, but this time around it is a lot easier because we're together."
Sergeant Wendy Hood added, "I'm going to miss him a lot when I redeploy home, but I can also say our time together here on deployment has been great. And, to spend our 10th wedding anniversary at a deployed location just tells me we're keeping in theme with the last 10 years."
Both of the Sergeants Hood are deployed from Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Sergeant Robert Hood is from the 775th Civil Engineer Squadron and his hometown is Killeen, Texas. Sergeant Wendy Hood is from the 75th Air Base Wing Command Post and her hometown is Hooksett, N.H.
The 380th AEW is home to the KC-10 Extender, U-2 Dragon Lady, E-3 Sentry and RQ-4 Global Hawk aircraft. The wing is comprised of four groups and 12 squadrons and the wing's deployed mission includes air refueling, surveillance and reconnaissance in support of overseas contingency operations in Southwest Asia. The 380th AEW supports operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom and the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa.
|Date Posted:||04.23.2010 01:47|
This work, Married military couple celebrates 10th wedding anniversary together in Southwest Asia, by MSgt Jenifer Calhoun, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.