Sacrifice: Balancing family and service

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Mariette Adams
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Deployments are a reality many military couples must face. These tours can take military members across the world for an extended period of time with limited communication back home.

For dual-military couples, deployments can separate them for even longer periods of time. Although difficult, it’s a sacrifice service members make when they enlist or commission.

The Robinsons make this sacrifice regularly.

Staff Sgt. Christine Robinson, a unit deployment manager, and Staff Sgt. Kevin Robinson, a vehicle dispatcher, both assigned to the 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron, met as vehicle operators back in 2009 while stationed at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia.

They quickly became friends and as Christine deployed for the first time, Kevin acted as her support system.

After seven months, she returned home, they began dating and eventually married. A day after they married, Kevin deployed. Christine found out she was pregnant soon after.

“Deploying is a sacrifice I have to make for my country and is a part of my job,” explained Kevin.

After returning, he deployed yet again when their child was four months old.

“Although there are challenges that come with this lifestyle, if I had to go back, I would do the same thing all over again,” said Christine. “I love serving my country and the Air Force has provided my family with many opportunities.”

Recently, a tasking came down for several vehicle operators to deploy. The Robinson’s, seasoned with experience, saw it as an opportunity to deploy together.

“This deployment came out of nowhere, but with a good amount of time in advance,” explained Kevin. “My wife is overdue to deploy and I was one of the few left that had to deploy because of our deployment band.”

Although a difficult decision, they saw it as an opportunity to serve and the best decision for their family.

“Deploying together means the whole family can be together when we get back instead of Kevin and I taking turns leaving only one parent at home at a time,” explained Christine.

To provide a smooth transition, the Robinsons have been planning the shift months in advance.

“We contacted some of our family members and made preparations to watch over our kids,” said Kevin. We also found a cool program that helps us find someone to watch our pets while we are gone.”

Through the challenges, they have relied on each other for support.

“I am anxious for this deployment because it will be my first one since I've had my children; however, it has helped having Kevin to lean on as we prepare to deploy,” said Christine. “My husband is my rock.”

Despite four deployments in nine years, totaling over 28 months, and two young children at home, they say they wouldn’t change anything. Their service and self-sacrifice displays the resiliency Airmen possess when faced with various challenges.