Face of Defense: Guard Couple Deploys Together
By Army Spc. Bradley Wancour
13th Public Affairs Detachment
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait, March 5, 2012 For military marriages, deployment normally means a yearlong separation. But that’s not the case for two Kansas Army National Guard soldiers.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Brian Dale, a Black Hawk helicopter maintenance platoon sergeant with Company D, 1st Battalion, 108th Aviation Regiment, and Army Staff Sgt. Danielle Burke, a human resource specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-108th Aviation, are deployed here together.
“We get to see each other every day, which is the main benefit,” Dale said. Burke said having her husband nearby allows her to unwind after a difficult day.
The Topeka, Kan., natives were married about nine months ago, and their unit has been in theater for more than four months. The couple already has experienced some of the advantages of being deployed together.
“He’s my support system, so it’s good to have him here so I can talk to him if I get frustrated at work or if I just had a bad day,” Burke said. But being deployed together does present some challenges.
“We’re always in uniform, so we have to maintain our professionalism all the time, which means we can’t even do simple things like hold hands,” Burke said. And the deployed environment makes spending quality time together difficult, she added.
“We know we have it better than most married soldiers,” Dale said, “so I feel bad saying there are disadvantages, because at least we get to see each other.”
But the workload in a deployed environment doesn’t allow for as much time together as the couple would like, Dale said. “We still have our mission, so our hours may not be the same,” he explained. “It can be hard knowing she is so close but the job won’t allow us to see each other.”
Still, Burke and Dale said, they accept these small challenges willingly, knowing that a traditional military couple usually has to deal with the challenges of spending a year apart.