War on Terrorism

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Kuwait: Kansas Army National Guard couple deploys together

By Army Spc. Bradley Wancour
13th Public Affairs Detachment

CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait (3/1/12) – For military marriages, deployment normally means a year-long separation. This is not the case for two members of the http Kansas Army National Guard -- Army Sgt. 1st Class Brian Dale, a Black Hawk helicopter maintenance platoon sergeant, D Company, 1st Battalion, 108th Aviation Regiment, and Army Staff Sgt. Danielle Burke, a human resource specialist, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-108th Aviation.

“We get to see each other every day, which is the main benefit,” said Dale.

Burke agreed and went on to explain how having her husband nearby allowed her to unwind after a difficult day.

The Topeka, Kansas, natives have been married for roughly nine months, said Burke.

Soon after they were married, the unit deployed, and has been in theater for more than four months. Burke and Dale have already experienced some of the advantages of being deployed together.

“He’s my support system, so it’s good to have him here so I can talk to him if I get frustrated at work or if I just had a bad day,” Burke stated.

While they are hesitant to admit it, there are certain challenges to being in a deployed environment with one’s spouse that many people may not realize, Dale explained.

“We’re always in uniform, so we have to maintain our professionalism all the time, which means we can’t even do simple things like hold hands,” Burke said.

While they do get to see each other in a professional setting, the deployed environment makes spending quality time together difficult, Burke stated.

“We know we have it better than most married soldiers,” said Dale. “So I feel bad saying there are disadvantages because at least we get to see each other.”

Other difficulties arise from the workload each spouse has to shoulder while in a deployed environment, Dale stated.

“We still have our mission, so our hours may not be the same,” said Dale. “It can be hard knowing she is so close but the job won’t allow us to see each other.”

Both Burke and Dale understand the difficulties and accept them, just like the traditional military couple deals with the challenges of spending a year apart. Overall, they are optimistic about their deployment and are happy to be able to spend time with each other.

Third Army is dedicated to shaping the future by supporting families deployed together.

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