Delayed Homecoming - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

07/13/03

Delayed Homecoming

After orders were given for the rest of the soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division to come home, many Army spouses were shocked when they received word that their loved ones were given new orders to stay.

It has not been a good day for the military spouses of the 2nd Brigade. After being told they would finally be reunited with their loved ones by August, they are now being told the wait will be longer. Three months longer. "Granted they are defending America you know and that they can just send them over there and they can't just fight and fight and fight. They're human, they feel and they're emotionally drained," said Shawneequa Hamblin, who's husband has been deployed for more than nine months.

While many endure the hardships of being a single parent, many of them are enduring the horror stories they are being told. "He actually told me he had nothing else to give, he just really wants to come home to his family because the treatment and things he's had to endure over there is ridiculous," said Chameka Wilson. "Our moral is not high or even low. Our moral is non existent," said Tabitha Giles, who read from a letter sent to her.

These spouses say their soldiers have been deployed for close to a year, some have been deployed longer and it's time to bring them home. "Our husbands have been doing as much as they can do and it's time to give them some relief and some rest," said Wilson. "They keep raising our housing allowance, our separation pay. That's not compensation, it is not. If they are going to keep them, to keep going on a mission, is the Army's 3rd infantry division, 2nd Brigade the only military this country has to offer?" asked Nathalie Aquino. A question many spouses feel has been left unanswered.

Officials at Fort Stewart say they have not received word about these new orders and are still planning on having all the remaining soldiers from the 3rd ID's, 2nd Brigade, home by August.

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com

 

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