Tough Times Don't Last, Tough People Do
(February 24, 2010)
|FORT McPHERSON, Ga. -- If there is one thing that life in the military has
taught my family, it is this: Tough times don't last, tough people do.
In July of 2008 my stepfather, Lt. Col. Jody (Jo) Howell, executive officer
for Border Transition Team 4300, Joint Task Force-Drifter, boarded a plane
at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to make his way to Kansas for
training. Three months later, he would deploy to Iraq to complete his
|Troops board aircraft for deployment overseas.
Photo courtesy of U.S. Army
No one associated with military life ever wants to hear the words "orders to
Iraq." I know my family didn't. We knew the road ahead of us was going to be
difficult and long.
Winter arrived and the holidays were tough.
I can't say Christmas was the best one I've ever had, but after it passed, I
could look forward to next year. From late-night phone calls to Web-cam
chatting, technology helped fill the void even though it wasn't the same as
having Jo home.
Jo decided to take his two weeks of leave at the midpoint of his tour and,
as the time drew closer, there was a little pep in everyone's step around
We had a great time when he arrived, although the two weeks went by far too
quickly. The next six months lingered on day by day. Fall began and everyone
was scurrying to get the house perfect for Jo's return.
However, another obstacle soon presented itself. My brother, Zach, had
enlisted with the Army to become a military policeman, following in the
footsteps of my mother, father and Jo. Zach left for basic training a week
before Jo got home.
When Jo returned, things around the house became simpler, but we had yet
another family member to miss.
Thankfully, my brother completed his basic and advanced training and will
soon proceed to his duty station at Fort Bragg, N.C.
In December, bad news came knocking at our door again. My mother, Lt. Col.
LaDonna Holt, commander of Headquarters Command, U.S. Army Garrison (Fort
McPherson), is scheduled to deploy to Iraq in April.
The story will restart for my family all over again. She will go to
Hartsfield-Jackson and leave us for 12 months.
It will be tough and it will be long, but if anyone can do it, my family
can. It can be hard for a 16-year-old girl to deal with no mother for 12
I've also learned that my best friend is moving to Fort Bragg and that my
family may be moving there after my mother's deployment.
These are a lot of changes to deal with, but whatever comes my way, I know I
have great and supportive people surrounding me and my family.
There is light at the end of these tunnels.
My tough times won't last, but I will.
By Morgan Holt, Military Family
Army News Service / Army website
Comment on this article