Daddy Deployed: Thanksgiving Apart

While many people across the country try to be with family for Thanksgiving, some families, like those of overseas military members, don't have that option.  Several weeks ago Newschannel 6 sat down with Sheila Hipp, whose husband is on his seventh tour of duty.  This week we checked back in with Sheila to find out what the holidays will be like with daddy deployed.

Holiday greetings between Sheila Hipp and her husband Corey weren't quite what they were hoping for this week. They caught each other on Skype, but lost the scratchy connection after just a couple minutes.  That's not out of the ordinary, considering Corey's in Iraq.

"Half the time the internet doesn't work, and then the other time the DSN phone lines that we have, they don't work either, so you've gotta make do with what you have," Corey said.

"We can talk on phone, but I'd rather see him.  I really want him to see the girls," Sheila said.

On this occasion, speaker phone was the best the Hipps could do.  Corey says T-day will still be filled with work.

"As far as me, I mean, over here it's just another day.  But, they do a meal where the chow hall actually cooks decent food.  Other than that, you've still got to carry out day-to-day duties," he said.

But Corey doesn't take talking to his wife and daughters for granted.  On previous assignments, he could only call home once a week.  Now he tries to call home every day.  Sheila wishes her husband could be home for their daughter's first thanksgiving, but she understands how things are.

"I'm thankful to have him.  I'm thankful to have our baby girl, and I'm thankful for our family that we have together, and I couldn't ask for anything better," she said.

She will be spending Thanksgiving with Corey's family, so he knows his loved ones will be in good hands.

"I'm just glad she's got someone there to spend time with and everything else, and keep her occupied, and not thinking about me," he said.

"Doin' one day at a time, and havin' fun, and that's what we're doin' until daddy comes home," Sheila said.
Because of the nine-hour time difference and Corey's graveyard shift in Iraq, he often gets up in the middle of his daytime sleep just to talk with his family.  We'll continue to follow events and holidays at the Hipp household while daddy's deployed.

Spencer Blake, Newschannel 6

*For a look at our first edition of 'Daddy Deployed,' use the link provided.