Virtues are a serving family
Published: Thursday, November 8th, 2012
When Corey Virtue found out his unit was being deployed to Afghanistan for a second time, he didn’t flinch. Things changed when Virtue found out his wife, Jana, was also being deployed.
“Our first thought is where our kids were going to go,” he said. “That was our biggest fear for both of us. We weren’t sure if our kids could handle both Mom and Dad being gone for a year.”
Luckily for the Virtues, their family was ready to step up and help with the kids, Torri and Hayden. Virtue also has two other children, Treyton and Americus, who live in Iowa with their mother.
However, a few weeks later, things changed once again when their daughter got really sick and was hospitalized in August.
“At that point we talked to our commander to see if one of us would be able to get out of deployment,” Virtue said.
In the middle of October, Jana was taken off deployment status, while Corey would still serve.
“We found that the stress level went down a ton knowing that the kids would be able to have one of their parents home for the year,” he said. “Now we can plan for just myself going.”
There are a couple of other married couples in Virtue’s unit; situations like this are common.
“You have a family care plan if you are a single soldier or if you a married soldier and both are serving,” Virtue said. “You fill one of these out and if you deploy, it states where your children will go. This is to make sure that you as a soldier are prepared and have an idea where the kids will be.”
While Jana will not be deployed at this time, there is still the chance she could be deployed if the unit takes another tour. Both Virtues are apart of the 235th Military Police Co. out of Rapid City and Sioux Falls. Virtue is the team leader of the MP and has been with the South Dakota National Guard for almost 16 years.
Virtue comes from a long line of military men. His grandfather John served in World War II, while his father, Jack, served in Vietnam.
“I wanted to follow in their shoes,” he said. “The National Guard changed my life. Being in the military is a different lifestyle and I don’t regret signing on the dotted line.”
With the National Guard, Virtue has traveled to Iceland, Germany, Italy, Qatar, Kuwait, Scotland, Afghanistan and other countries.
“It has been a great experience and I look forward to what is coming in the future,” he said.
In Afghanistan, the unit will work 12-hour days in security missions. In 2007, Virtue was deployed to Afghanistan for a year where he worked similar missions.
“Our mission then was convoy security, village assessment, law and order, quick response force, personal security detail, customs, enemy prisoner of war and other security missions,” he said. “A typical day for us would be getting our vehicles ready for our missions before getting a brief on the threat en route. Then we would do our mission and come back to the base and get ready for the next day.”
As expected, Virtue will miss his wife and kids.
“I know my wife will have an awesome support group living in Custer,” he said. “Our friends and family are amazing and they are going to be there for Jana when she needs support.”
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