While much of America is glued to the broadcast images of men and women serving their country in the military, there are opportunities to see the same kind of military service and sacrifice in the lives of some Yuba College students. These are average students, trying to carry out the daily tasks of their lives, while supporting loved ones who are currently being deployed due to military service.
One such student is Yuba College freshman, Cedar Pattalon. Pattalon’s boyfriend, Airman First Class Josh Miles of Beale Air Force Base, is currently deployed to an undisclosed location in the Middle East. Miles has been gone about one and half months and is estimated to return to Beale in October. The only communication permitted between Pattalon and Miles is sending and receiving letters and occasional five minute “morale calls.” Pattalon states that the calls are just enough time to hear that her boyfriend is safe and to mutter her encouraging words of, “Come back home. I love you.”
While Pattalon misses her boyfriend she does not find it hard to stay positive and supportive. “I know it’s for our country,” said Pattalon. While Miles is away, Pattalon has resolved to keep herself busy and surround herself with friends and family. To all those who currently have a deployed loved one Pattallon recommended “Keep your head up; talk about your feelings and emotions instead of keeping them bottled up inside.” She continued “Have people around you who care about you and love you. They will be a great support to you.” Another Yuba College student, veterinary major Melissa Coughran, has a husband who is currently deployed. Her husband, Tech Sergeant Vernon G. Coughran Jr., also of Beale Air Force Base, is currently serving at Wilford Hall, England. His assignment is to build bombs for the B1 and B52 Bombers.
Coughran is allowed to communicate with her husband through morale calls twice a week. She uses these times to update her husband about all of the things that are going on at home. She has plenty to tell him as she has the weight of a family, job, rigorous school schedule and veterinary internship at UC Davis. It is a challenge for her to continue such a demanding schedule without the aide of her husband. However, she admits that keeping busy is good advice for helping to ease the burden of having a loved one who has been deployed.
Yuba College students such as Cedar Pattalon and Melissa Coughran will continue in their efforts to support a deployed loved one.