Syria air strike hits closer to home for military families

Military families live with constant worry

As the fallout from the Syria air strike continues, some military members and their families are wondering what's next.  But the fear of deployment is one that some have to live with everyday.

The wife of Marine Master Sergeant Azemar King has seen him deployed three times to Iraq and Afghanistan.

"And he was like I have great training, I have great guys that are with me, and we're going to be fine, and I'm coming home, and that's what I clung to," said Lauren King.

But before she met the love of her life, she used to be like a lot of people.

"I had one friend from high school that had been deployed, so that was really the extent of my experience."

It's a departure from World War II when over 12 million American served.  That's about 15 percent of the population.  Contrast that today, where an estimated 1.4 men and women serve, roughly 1 percent. 

So when President Donald Trump announced Thursday that he had ordered a targeted military strike on an airfield in Syria from which he believed a chemical attack was launched, military families felt those words hit much closer to home.

"If you don't have a family or friend over there, you're like okay, out of sight, out of mind."

King learned how much life with a Marine would be drastically different when her husband was called up in 2003.

"I had just given birth to my son, and it was like my first day home at my parent's house because we had just bought a new house and it wasn't ready yet."

During the deployment, King anxiously spent countless hours waiting for a call; she was worried he would not come home alive.

"I guess it's irrational to think that I'm going to see my husband's face on TV but you know,  always watching to see if you I'd get a glimpse of him."

Master Sergeant King would serve three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.  In those he deployments, he missed his son's first steps as well as a chance to say a final goodbye to his mom. 

"I talked to her that Wednesday and that he was safe and she passed that Friday."

King's husband is home safe.  After 25 1/2 years in the Marine Corp, he's retired.  But for the family hearing about military news will never be the same. 

"I think about all of his friends that are still there and pray for them and just hope that they don't have to go.  The one thing I can say about our service men and women is they are fearless, they get the call, and they're like this is what I signed up, and this is what I am going to do, this is my job."
 

 

© 2017 WWL-TV


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