Deployed dads receive love, goodies from home
CAMP VICTORY NORTH, Iraq — For many people, missing Father’s Day might be no big deal.
But for men deployed with the military, it’s a chance to show off cards and snapshots of their kids that families sent in care packages.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Doug Evans, the 95th Military Police Battalion’s maintenance officer, got his package Tuesday. His eldest son, Steven, 10, sent him a handwritten letter and drawings of tornadoes. Kevin, 7, drew tanks, pirate ships and a submarine.
“It’s kind of emotional to see what they are writing and how they are growing up so fast,” Evans said.
Evans admits he’s been lucky. Over the years he’s only been away for military schools and field exercises. Now that he’s on a yearlong tour, Evans was glad his wife, Sue-Anne, who lives with the boys in Mannheim, Germany, remembered to throw in some licorice and lollipops.
Master Sgt. Scott Toy’s wife, Holly, is now in Texas visiting relatives. Before she left Germany, she sent off a package with cards from his boys, Eric and Ethan, and an updated photo.
Unfortunately for Sgt. Tracy Swimm, this Father’s Day is her first without her dad. Two weeks after she arrived in Iraq, she received a Red Cross message saying her father, James Hunter of Syracuse, N.Y., had died.
But she made sure to send a card off to her husband Chris, who is back in Stuttgart, Germany, with her daughters, Melissa, 11, and Amanda, 5.
Staff Sgt. Chuck Campbell, a New Hampshire National Guardsman stationed in Balad is expecting a package, he said. Campbell, who keeps laminated photos of his three children in a pouch around his neck, knows packages can take a long time getting to Iraq.
“I know they were sending some stuff,” Campbell said. “It’s probably somewhere in the mail system.”
When Father’s Day rolls around, Maj. Jesse Galvan, 38, of San Antonio thinks about his old man, a career infantryman who served in Vietnam.
His children, Nichole, 13, and Jesse Jr., 11, are traveling in Italy with their mom, Sheila.
He knows how they must feel.
“I was an Army brat, too,” Galvan said. “I definitely know what it’s like being away from Dad.”