SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – With reports of retaliatory attacks against the U.S. by Iran, more than 3,000 service members are set to be deployed to the Middle East.
That means men and women, perhaps some locally, will be separated from their families on very short notice.
Lyn Armentrout knew at a very young age that she wanted to give back to her community. After graduation from Sioux City West, she joined the Air Force and experienced deployment nine times.
“My experience deploying we left within hours and we did not know where we were going and we didn’t know how long we would be gone,” said Armentrout.
Armentrout was active duty for 27 years.
“You’re trained to be ready to go at a moment’s notice. But even though you’re trained to do that it’s still very hard,” said Armentrout.
Worrying about her own safety but still thinking about her loved ones as she packed her bags for deployment.
“What anniversary, birthdays, and holidays are you going to miss? How can you make them feel safe and not have them worry about you all the time while you’re gone?” said Armentrout.
Armentrout suggests soldiers who may be deployed form a network with friends and family so that they’re able to help out.
“If they have kids, help out taking the kids to their activities, their school events. Give the mom or dad that is left behind a break,” said Armentrout.
“What can you do to help that mom that has three or four kids at home? Can you mow her grass can you shove her sidewalks?,” said Sioux City volunteer, Mary Hacker.
Hacker looks for any way to give back to local men and women who server in the military as her nephew has been deployed twice.
“It’s really an emotional upheaval for the families but they’re willing to sacrifice, it because they know what being in the service means to our country,” said Hacker.
However, she says not every family will speak up to say they need that extra help.
“So we need to just be prepared to offer that support everywhere we can,” said Hacker.
“It’s really important for those of us left behind to support the family members,” said Armentrout.
Sioux City’s 185th Air Refueling Wing does not have members stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan.
In a press release sent on Tuesday, the base command tells KCAU 9 News the 185th is not due for another deployment for at least another year.