A Mom’s Update on Her Young Marine Now in Afghanistan

April and Jared visiting the WUSF Studios just after he got out of boot camp, November 2010.

It was little more than a year ago that 17-year-old Jared Agle left his Florida home a week early for Marine Boot Camp at Paris Island. I work his with his mother April Agle. She’s in the WUSF Business Office.

I met Jared before he left and talked with him again when he returned after 13 weeks of basic training. He left again for months of infantry training before deploying to Afghanistan several weeks ago.

April and her husband have gotten a few phone calls from Afghanistan, but the calls are infrequent and often it drops out. She said it took 30 days for the first family “care package” of food and personal hygiene items to reach Jared’s Forward Operating Base. His comment to her, many serving with him don’t get any packages.

April's USO Teddy Bear.

Like any mother, April worries Jared, but she balances it with an inner pride as she watches her young son mature into a man – a U.S. Marine Lance Corporal. So it was an extra special surprise when she found a package on her doorstep the other day.

Inside the box was a short message for his mom and a USO Teddy Bear wearing a t-shirt. The front says, “My arms may be short, but …” and on the back “… they reach all the way around the world.”

The Teddy Bear was a sign to April that her son was still the thoughtful young man she raised –  who remembered to mail his younger sister a birthday card and thought to send his mom a Teddy Bear while on his way to a combat zone.

April is sharing her journey as a new military mom. Here are a few of her stories:

In Training to Become a New Marine Mom

Letting Go a Week Early

A Boot Camp Marine’s First Letter Home

Birthdays, Weddings, A Mom Misses Her New Marine

A Marine Mom: Paris Island Graduation Day

Lessons Learned in Iraq by a Deployed Psychologist

The story below by Robyn Mincher of the Defense Center of Excellence Communications caught my attention because Off the Base contributor, Cheyenne Forsythe, also served with the 85th Medical Detachment, a combat stress control unit during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.

Army Capt. Dayami Liebenguth (right) during her deployment in Iraq. (Courtesy photo)

The Posted by Robyn Mincher

In March, Army Capt. Dayami Liebenguth returned from her 12-month deployment to Iraq, where she was the officer in charge of the combat stress control behavioral health clinic for an entire forward operating base. Liebenguth is now a clinical psychologist consultant at Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE).

The number one thing Capt. Dayami Liebenguth gained from her recent deployment was respect for her fellow service members.

“Overall, what I learned was how to be an advocate for our service members, while at the same time meeting the needs of the units—a challenge I was always up for,” she said. “It is in my opinion that service members are generally resilient and just need to be encouraged, supported and reminded of their resilience.”

Liebenguth, who completed her postdoctoral training at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, was attached to the 85th combat stress control medical detachment from Fort Hood, Texas. While deployed, she incorporated group classes as an effective tactic in maintaining resilience…

To read the full story, click HERE.

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