Wes was deployed to Iraq from 2003 to 2004. At the time, the couple had one child and Prushia was too young to remember her dad being away. Every family member was old enough to feel Wes’s latest absence.
This deployment also was different because the family had the tools to stay more connected, such as through email, Skype and Facebook. Wes was even able to Skype with all of Prushia’s Jefferson Elementary School classmates during an assembly.
Even with the increased communications, Wes’s absence was palpable during holidays, birthdays and special occasions like Prushia’s fifth-grade graduation.
The family isn’t focused on the 11-month stretch without Wes. They concentrate on being a family reunited.
“I’m really, really happy he’s back,” Prushia said. “I knew he was going to be OK, but I’m glad everyone is home and things are back to normal. I just want to hang out and goof around.”