mother

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.

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?

Mom's helper? Grandma

Daralyn with two of her grandchildren. Photo by: Sherri Williams

Daralyn Hollenbeck spent the weekend feeding, bathing and reading to her energetic grandchildren. Between kisses and hugs she played with them outside, took them for a walk and put them to bed. She took over and played mom to her grandchildren for a few hours to give her daughter-in-law Amber Hollenbeck, 27, a break.

All of the household and parenting responsibilities are on Amber now that her husband and Daralyn's son, Josh Hollenbeck, 29, is deployed in Iraq.

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