Mid-South Military Families Separated During the Holidays
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - It's going to be a tough Christmas for some Mid-South military families. Their loved ones are overseas for the holidays. Two military families opened up on how they're coping. A Mississippi family hasn't seen their father since August. A Memphis family hasn't seen their daughter in two years. Both have different stories and one common message: never lose touch with your loved ones.
Theresa Chan and Tina Nelson served in the military and have loved ones overseas. Chan spent nearly 30 years in the Air Force. Her daughter married an airman. They're stationed in Okinawa, Japan for the holidays.
"The last time I saw her was 2 years ago,” Chan told ABC24 News. "Most of the time we try to stay connected through Skype or Facebook and that helps us over."
The Nelson family does the same thing to stay in touch with their Navy Dad, Eric Nelson.
"He’s deployed over in the Gulf. They can't give us their specific location of the aircraft carrier. He got back February 27, 2012 and left again in the beginning of August 2012,” said Eric’s wife, Tina Nelson.
This is the second Christmas Dad will be away from his family. When I asked Eric’s 7-year-old son, Miles, if he missed his father, he said, “Of course I do! He's not going to be here until April."
Tina Nelson served 20 years in the Navy. That's where she met her husband. Nelson says when a family member is deployed, especially during the holidays, all you can do is love and support them.
"The home has to be strong and when a service member calls you have to support them,” said Nelson.
Both women had this advice for young military families separated during this holiday season:
"Keep in touch with them the best way you can. Skype is a wonderful tool,” said Chan.
"Be positive, love them, and they will come home. They will come home and you will be there for them,” said Nelson.
The Chan family will continue their time in Japan and then have plans to be stationed in Europe. The Nelson family expects Dad to be home by April.