Spouse steps up while husband is deployed

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Montse Ramirez
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
"When a troop serves, so does the family," is a commonly known phrase among servicemembers.

This holds true for the Johnson family. When Staff Sgt. Scott Johnson, 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs broadcast journalist here, left for his nine-month deployment in November, to Afghanistan and left behind his wife Sara and their three little boys, Addison 3, and twins Michael and Mathew 14 months.

"Before he left I didn't think I was going to be able to handle everything on my own," said Sara. "I tried to wrap my head around how long he was going to be gone, how much stuff I would have to do without him and how many changes there would be. It seemed horrible."

Sara said there were a lot of changes to be made, but she was determined to make it work.

"I'm used to having a schedule and a routine and Scott leaving threw that off completely," she said. "But I had talked to a friend who encouraged me that I would actually enjoy the deployment."

As time went on, she said things got easier and she started to grow as an individual.

"The biggest thing I learned while he was deployed is that I could do everything on my own and still survive," she said. "It was an independent, empowering feeling for me.
"There was a point during the end of his deployment when I looked back and realized, I am doing this and we are not just surviving, but striving," Sara said. "The boys are learning, developing and having fun."

While Sara was executing her mission as a caregiver back home, Sergeant Johnson was in Afghanistan performing his.

"During my deployment, my job was to train more than 40 people from different Afghan uniformed branches on how to be broadcast journalists," Sergeant Johnson said. "I also spent time at North Atlantic Treaty Organization training mission Afghanistan public affairs headquarters on media interaction and coverage."

He said it was easier for him to do his day-to-day job because he could be hands on. But when problems arose at home it was terribly stressful for him because he felt he couldn't help. Luckily he said, Sara stepped up to the plate and took care of the issues that arose.

"I've always known Sara is an amazing woman but sometimes she doesn't necessarily realize it," Sergeant Johnson said. "Hearing that she took care of things on her own, on top of taking care of three kids and watching her strength throughout the deployment was really cool."

Her strength seemed to transfer to the kids.

Sara said they took the deployment pretty well. It was the second time Addison went through it, as it wasn't his dad's first deployment, and the twins were content getting to see him on Skype when they could.

"I missed my dad but I had lots of fun with my mom," Addison said.

When Sergeant Johnson finally came home, Sara said the children were more than content.

"It was pure joy to watch the kids run to his arms at the airport," Sara said. "It's such a blessing to have Scott come back. The kids picked up right where they left off."