Father's Day brings deployment end for Fairchild family

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Sam Fogleman
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Father's Day is a day to celebrate fathers and their contributions to the American family. The tradition in the United States actually began formally at the Spokane YMCA, adding a geographical connection to the particularly resonant role that fathers play at Fairchild. Although there are many benefits provided by the military that encourage an emphasis on the family, stressors are a natural part of the airman lifestyle that necessitate a continued focus on how fathers are still appreciated, even when they may be far away from home on deployments and the like.

Though fathers in the Air Force are generally a large part of their children's lives, the physical absence of an assignment can be a challenge. Therefore, it is vital that resources are in place to show everyone, especially fathers, that they are still important to the family unit, no matter how far away they may be.

For the Messer family, residents of Fairchild, this Father's Day will be a very special one, especially since it will be their first as a family with a child. Capt. Brett Messer, 92nd Logistics Readiness Squadron, has been deployed overseas for five months, away from his wife Catherine and now 10-month-old daughter Juliette.

"It's been hard since he left when the baby was at five months, so he's missed technically half her life," said Catherine of her husband's deployment. "All of the little things have happened while he's been gone. Juliette has more of her own personality now."

Catherine talked about how communication with deployed parents has improved during her life.

"My dad was in the Army for 28 years, so I have definitely seen how things have changed for the better," Messer said. "Before, we'd wait for a phone call. Now, we have a lot more opportunities to see each other's faces, especially since the invasion (of Iraq) in 2003."

Messer said that innovative communication programs like FaceTime have changed the lives of families of those deployed. Other base resources have been invaluable, she said.

"The best resources have been neighbors and the unit," said Messer. "They have been a huge help. The squadron commander's spouse would check in, and the chaplain has been really helpful. The spouses in the OSC have been so supportive and helpful while Brett was gone. I strongly encourage all spouses to join either the Officer Spouses Club or the Enlisted Spouses Club."

As far as the Messer family's immediate plans for Brett when he comes home, they're simple: "We're looking to spoil him rotten," Catherine said.