Hudson Valley Parent

HVP - Feb. 2014

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"When is Daddy coming home?" Local parents discuss life as a military family By KATHY EASTWOOD H aving one or both parents serving in the military can add a whole new dimension to responsible parenting. Life in the military can involve frequent moves or deployments where a parent is in a far off place for months or even a year. Two Hudson Valley parents shared with us how they handle the stress of parenting while in the military. 'Where's Daddy?" Randee Martinez, a Cornwall native and wife of Marine Sergeant Michael Martinez, found out she was pregnant with their first son, Matthew, when they were stationed in Okinawa, Japan. "Ten weeks later, my husband was deployed to Afghanistan," Randee recalls. "He was gone for the duration of my pregnancy and missed Matthew's birth by nine days." Randee admits there were concerns in the beginning with Matthew, who is now 3. "He always wanted to know when Daddy was going to be home and where Daddy is," she says. "When he would get upset, he would say things like, 'Daddy is never coming home, is he?'" Randee handled this by pinning a map of the world on the wall so she could show him exactly where Daddy is. "With technology, we are able to talk via the web cam just about every day," she says. "That helps Matthew out a lot. He is able to ask Michael directly any questions or concerns that he may have." When they became pregnant with their second son, Lucas, two years 22 Hudson Valley Parent n February 2014 Marine Sergeant Shane Bailey, currently stationed at Stewart Air National Guard Base, enjoys family time with daughter, Emma, 3, and wife, Pam, who worries about how frequent moves will affect their children. later after relocating from Okinawa to Cherry Point, N.C., the family situation improved because Mike was able to come home between deployments "Fortunately, he was by my side when I had Lucas," Randee said. However, Martinez was deployed again when Lucas was 4 months old. "He's missed all of Lucas' major milestones so far." Communication is key Having an absent partner is tough, Randee says. It's stressful and "Bottom line is, we are a family and we stick together." — Pam Bailey, military spouse can be draining, especially with two little boys. "However, I know it's something that has to be done. Mike is a Marine, and if he needs to go far away for work, then that is what must happen," she says, adding that she and Mike talk whenever they can, which helps her and the boys. "I know it helps Mike, too," she says. "Mike is still very much involved in decisions that we make as a family when he can. I also talk about him to the boys as if he's just at work for the day. They are constantly reminded that Daddy loves them and he will be home soon." On the move Pam Bailey, a special education teacher in Westchester County, is married to Marine Sergeant Shane Bailey, currently stationed at Stewart Air National Guard Base in (Continued on Page 24)

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