Face of Defense: Married Soldiers Serve in Afghanistan
By Army Sgt. Justin A. Moeller
4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division
KHOWST PROVINCE, Afghanistan, Aug. 13, 2013 An Army couple deployed to Afghanistan take the bad with the good to serve together.
Army Cpl. Douglas Dalton, a medic, and his wife, Spc. Megan Dalton, a radiology specialist, talk to each other next to field ambulances on Forward Operating Base Salerno, Afghanistan, Aug. 11, 2013. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Justin A. Moeller
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
“Obviously, deployments are stressful,” said Army Cpl. Douglas Dalton, a native of Greenville, Texas. “Having Skype or receiving mail is great but nothing beats being able to hug your wife at the end of the day.”
Being a dual-military couple is one of the few instances where a soldier can deploy with his or her spouse.
“Having my wife with me has its benefits,” Douglas said. “During my first deployment I was single -- with this deployment it’s nice to be able to see my wife when I come home in the evenings.”
Dalton is a medic and his wife, Army Spc. Megan Dalton, is a radiology specialist. Both soldiers serve in Afghanistan with Company C, 801st Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team “Currahee," 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
Not only does the couple share this deployment together, they both work at the Combat Support Hospital on Forward Operating Base Salerno.
“The Daltons have a very professional working relationship,” said Army Staff Sgt. Marcus Freeman, evacuation platoon sergeant for Company C, 801st BSB, 4th BCT, 101st Airborne Division. He explains that they both bring a lot of experience to the table and are exceptional co-workers to have.
As a radiology specialist, Megan is tasked with taking any X-rays the provider needs, whether during sick-call or during trauma, all in a timely manner.
“For me, this is my first deployment and it’s hard being away [from home],” said Megan, a native of Lebanon, Ind. “It’s nice having him to come home to and talk to at night.”
One of the challenges the couple seems to have mastered is how to keep their working and personal relationships separate.
“I would never expect their relationship to conflict with their work,” Freeman said. “If anything, the relationship they have enhances the environment and workplace.”
“I keep my business life business, strictly business,” Douglas said.
It “does make a difference having the one you love with you during a deployment,” Megan said.
“I feel especially lucky to have him here, just grateful. He is my best friend and I’m very, very glad that we are here together,” she said.