Military family remembers stress of deployment - - The News for South Mississippi

Military family remembers stress of deployment

By Jeff Lawson – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - WLOX-TV is beginning a year long series of reports called Project Homefront. The series will examine the stress and strain associated with a loved one in the military being deployed.

For families left behind, the emotions run the gamut. And no one knows that better than Tracy Dedeaux.

"Am I passionate about it, absolutely, there is no way you can't be," Dedeaux said.

Dedeaux has worked at WLOX since shortly before Hurricane Katrina hit. Her husband Lynn served in the Army for 22 years and retired in 2006. In his time in the military, Lynn Dedeaux deployed nine times. Tracy remembers every one of them very well, especially when it was a war time assignment.

"When they are going to war, and you know they are going to war, you are trying to control your anxiety so that they don't feel anxiety, so they can leave positively," she said.

Tracy also realizes there are thousands of military families here in South Mississippi who can identify with her story.

"It's because every service member who is deployed left somebody behind, mother, father, sister, wife, children, and you want to make sure they are okay, so they can focus on the mission."

When Tracy, Lynn and their daughters were stationed in Germany, Tracy worked at an Army base as the Director of Family Programs. That's when she saw first hand the many challenges young military families face.

While there, the Dedeaux family looked for ways to help fellow military families, and that dedication was recognized in a big way. The Dedeauxs were honored as the U.S. Army's Family of the Year. They were chosen from more than 80 other families stationed at Army installations all around the world.

Although her husband Lynn retired three years ago, Tracy said that passion she has always had for helping military folks is just as strong as ever.

"There are a lot of people who have absolutely no idea where to go, or what to do, or that there is help available, or what they need to get that help. That is what I want to do."

Tracy came up with the idea, along with some of her WLOX colleagues, to use our airwaves to help get the word out. It is a way to say thanks to those military families who sacrifice so much.

Along with the segments that will air each Thursday on WLOX News at 6 p.m., you can also send us your story about being the family of a deployed soldier. Once a month, a family will be chosen to receive a spa package and dinner for four.

Click here to learn more about Project Homefront, and how you can participate. We look forward to hearing from you.

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