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Deployment means sacrifice for all family members

11/8/2012 - South Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

Veterans Day celebrated Nov. 11

Green resident Staff Sgt. Aaron Brown, a 20-year veteran of the Army National Guard, is in Afghanistan serving his country for a second tour of duty.
Photo courtesy of Cindy Brown
GREEN — Veterans Day is set aside to honor and thank the men and women who have served or are serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

That service requires sacrifice from military members, but also from their families. These families often cope thanks to help from others. One such resident is Green High School Principal Cindy Brown.

Brown, a resident of Green, said her husband, Staff Sgt. Aaron Brown, is a 20-year veteran of the Army National Guard out of the Mansfield armory, 1486th Transportation Co. He is a transportation specialist working as a convoy commander and most recently was deployed March 23 for a second tour of duty, this time in Afghanistan. He is expected to return in February, she said.

He also served in Somalia, Iraq, during Operation Iraqi Freedom II from January 2004 to March 2005, and was deployed to the area affected by Hurricane Katrina for two months and to other stateside locations for other incidents.

Cindy Brown said her husband is serving on a year-to-year basis after having reached a point where he can retire.

Outside of his Army career, Aaron Brown is a firefighter and paramedic for the city of Canton.

Cindy Brown said she and her husband have been married for 12 years and have three boys: Matthew, 10; Tyler, 8; and Justin, 5. She added she copes with family and job responsibilities while her husband is deployed thanks to lots of help from family and friends.

“We have a lot of family in the area that help me out tremendously, most especially my mom and sisters, Aaron’s parents, neighbors and the staff at Green High School,” she said.

Brown said teachers at the school help out by bringing dinner once a week and by babysitting the boys when she has to attend an evening function. Her family also helps with babysitting. She added that her brother-in-law does the yard work at the house.

“It is just as hard for Aaron to be away from the boys as it is for me to handle the responsibilities of parenting on my own,” she said. “Matt recently scored his first touchdown and Aaron missed that. He also missed Justin’s birth, and seeing Justin get on the school bus for the first time when he started kindergarten this year.”

She said she and her husband do not talk much about the dangers he faces while he is deployed because he wants to hear about the boys. Brown said her husband has always been an involved father and misses all the little things, although they do communicate through Facebook.

“It is difficult for him to watch from afar and not be involved, though,” she said. “People don’t realize what these little things mean. Sometimes we will be telling a story about one of the boys, and Aaron is left out because he was not there to experience it.”

As for the children, Cindy Brown said even though they miss their father, they are very proud of him, and they are counting down the days for when he gets back.

“We will all be very excited to see him come home,” she said. “We are looking forward to watching the Super Bowl game together as a family.”

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