Betty Simmons: I think when they’re home you don’t think about them going. We never go down when they leave. They don’t want us. Probably, one, they don’t want their mom bawling when they’re getting on the bus to go. (laughter)
Norman Brown: He said, “I’ll be all right, Dad. I mean, you don’t have to worry.” I mean, we’re going to worry anyway, but the way he was handling it, you know, made us feel better about it.
Monique Morris: He basically told me that if, as long as he’s doing what he’s supposed to do, and he’s not supposed to leave the base, or leave the base with who he’s supposed to, he should be safe. So he’s not scared, so I guess I shouldn’t be, but I am.
Puanani Ahlo: While my son’s been deployed, there’s been a lot of email contact, internet resources, Skype-ing. I can’t call him and contact him, but he does keep in contact with us regularly, so he’s taken his iPhone and his laptop with him, or he uses what they have at the facilities that they’re at.
Marc Danziger: There would be weeks when he’d be up on the Internet and I’d see him every day, and we’d chat. We couldn’t Skype but we’d, you know, we’d do instant messaging back and forth or email back and forth a couple times a day, and then there would be a week-and-a-half long period when he’s just blacked out.
Holly Clayman: I think his training that he had from the Air Force for this has been very good. I don’t think he felt he went to Afghanistan unprepared.
Jayne White: I just wanted to know he was going to learn everything he needed to know. I wanted him to be so ready if he was deployed.
Don Simmons: On one hand, you’re just extremely proud that they’re being deployed and helping out the country and going over there, but on the other hand you’re always, I guess, keeping one eye on the TV to see what happened over there.
Patricia Smith: We would kind of watch the news or, you know, look on the website.
Darlene Anderson: At first I was kind of, you know, very, very concerned, but after speaking with him and he told me, “I’m prepared for this. That’s what they train us for. It’s our job,” then that really made me feel a lot better.
Harold Stewart: I spoke to Jason as much as possible but, I mean, you know, what happens happens. You just got to put your faith in the people around you as well as, yeah, the man above.