active duty

Children Left Behind

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By Sherri Williams
News21 / Syracuse University

Kaden Hollenbeck’s firm handshake, energetic personality and animated voice belie that of a typical 7-year-old.

His maturity mixes with his spirited and sad greeting: “My dad is in Iraq!” he shouts with both pride and pain swirling in his voice at the family home on the Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Wash.

Military Suicide

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An excerpt from "When He Came Home" by Matthew Nojiri.

“We can’t let our veterans fall through the cracks,” says Matt Kuntz, executive director of the National Alliance of Mental Illness in Montana. Kuntz has lead a national initiative for more thorough mental-health screening for returning soldiers and veterans after his stepbrother, an Iraq veteran, committed suicide in 2007. “We owe it to them to make sure they get the care they need when they come back.”

Mothers Left Behind

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By Sherri Williams
News21 / Syracuse University

Daralyn Hollenbeck almost crumbled before her only son went off to war in Iraq.

She didn’t know how to say goodbye to Josh Hollenbeck, 29, without falling apart.

Her worries overwhelmed her. Daralyn crawled into bed late one night about a week before her son’s deployment and cried uncontrollably.

What if he doesn’t come back?

Wives Left Behind

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By Sherri Williams
News21 / Syracuse University

Rayna Cawston has been through a war deployment. She understands the fear, loneliness and anxiety of having a husband in a combat zone.

When Rayna, 25, was afraid to sleep alone at night she had her girls — Mylia, 7, and Antya, 22 months — sleep with her. Scary noises Rayna heard at night prompted her to buy two intimidating dogs for an added sense of security. As Rayna’s loneliness lingered and her sadness swelled she started to take antidepressants, and had her family rally around her to support her.

U.S. Military conflicts

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