Dennis Dunton knows what it's like to be separated from family. He has two daughters in the military. Kathryn is the youngest. She graduated from Lufkin High School and headed straight for Iraq when she was only 18. Dennis says being a Vietnam vet made her deployment a little easier to deal with.
Dennis says, "Just being through the experience and knowing what she would be going through, but also knowing that she was well trained and had a lot of trained people around her that knew their job."
Dennis says no matter how long the separation, being apart never gets easy. He says families should write their soldiers often and find ways to show their support until they come home. Once his daughter shipped out, the Dunton family sent care packages to troops overseas.
"It's just a matter of getting involved," Dennis says. "It really didn't help a lot, as far as your feelings or your concern, but you know that you're doing all you can as a parent to support the troops and your child as well."
There are some things you can do before deployment to keep the lines of communication open with your family.
'Talk about priorities." Dennis says. "Talk about what's important and your relationship with each other and your relationship with God."