Face of Defense: Mom Remains ‘Army Strong’ Through Deployments
By Army Spc. Philip Klein
Special to American Forces Press Service
CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq, May. 5, 2008 The daily stresses of being a mother can make it a difficult, full-time job. Factor in the burdens of serving multiple deployments to a combat zone, and “Army Strong” takes on a new meaning for many military mothers.
Army Spc. Ocie Terry, an administration specialist serving in Multinational Division Baghdad and assigned to the 4th Infantry Division’s Company B, Special Troops Battalion, is a single mother of three girls. Her children -- Samantha, 6, Amari, 4, and Sunnieday, 2 -- are living with her mother in Jacksonville, Texas, during her deployment.
Terry, now serving in her scond deployment, has been in the Army for seven years and has called the Ivy Division home for her entire career. Army Lt. Col. Kerk Brown, officer in charge of the personnel section in the division headquarters, where Terry works, said he appreciates her work.
“She is an outstanding soldier, a superb combat multiplier that enables [this section] to take our work to the next level,” Brown said. “Terry makes a real difference in the office with her attitude and work ethic. I can always count on her whenever we need something accomplished in and around the office.
“She is an asset to this team and is also a great mother to her three daughters,” Brown continued. “I know being over here away from her young family is a difficult task -- it is for anyone -- but she handles everything with a positive attitude. I never see her without a smile on her face.”
Terry, however, said she would not be able to handle the stress as well if it weren’t for her No. 1 hero, her mother.
“It’s great to have the support of my mom while I am deployed,” Terry said. “I sent her flowers for this Mother’s Day just to let her know I am grateful for her help while I am over here completing our mission.”
Though Terry said that although she would love to be with her daughters, she knows she has an important role in helping the division acomplish its mission.
“It would be nice to be home with my kids this Mother’s Day, but it is also important to be here protecting our way of life so that other Americans can enjoy this Mother’s Day and many Mother’s Days to come.”
For this Mother’s Day, Terry plans to have dinner with her girls over the Internet via a Web camera.
“This is just something I can do with my kids that helps shrink the distance between them and their mom,” she said. “It’s the next best thing to being there with them, and at least we can spend some time together and we can see each other.”
Terry said she’s proud of her service, but her favorite duty title is “mom.”
“Being a mom is the best thing ever, and I would love to be home with my kids; but if being here in Baghdad means my kids and other American and Iraqi children can be safe, it’s worth it,” she said.
(Army Spc. Philip Klein serves in the Multinational Division Baghdad Public Affairs Office.)