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Deployed Soldier Returns for Mother’s Day


By Sgt. Jesse Houk
139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

The bond between a mother and her children is one of the most foundational and significant relationships between human beings. This connection is so profound that not even time and distance can separate a mother’s love and devotion for her children.

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Illinois Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Sarah J. Campbell with her children in Rochester, Ill., May 6, 2013. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jesse Houk

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Illinois Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Sarah J. Campbell, of Rochester, Ill., is the operations noncommissioned officer with the 633rd Theater Gateway Personnel Accountability Team in Springfield. She was separated from her two children, Austin and Kiana, ages 10 and four, respectively, while deployed to Kuwait from June 2012 to March 2013.

“I tried calling them every chance I got,” Campbell said. “It was hard sometimes, hearing them continuing on with their day-to-day life and telling me their stories and what they did that day.”

Campbell relied on phone conversations and video conferencing to stay connected. She worked the night shift and was able to make calls on her breaks while it was daytime back home.

Campbell said she tried her best to be there for her children and admits she missed out on some things during her nine-month deployment. The most obvious were the physical and academic growth of her children.

The deployment was not only challenging for Campbell, but also her children.

“I really missed her,” Austin said. “But I think it’s cool that she’s in the Army because she gets to shoot bazookas.”

Although being away was difficult, Campbell said, the deployment provided time to reevaluate her priorities.

“I got to reflect a lot about my life,” Campbell said. “A lot of my reflection had to do with my children. Sometimes life overwhelms you or kind of throws you off-track and my deployment really helped me reflect on who I want to be as a person, a mother and soldier.”

It’s difficult to balance the commitments of being a mother and a soldier, Campbell said. Yet, she said, there’s a way to mesh the two. Her motherly instincts compelled her unit to give her the nickname of “mother hen” for the way she took charge during training.

“It is difficult juggling National Guard obligations with the responsibility of being a mother, but I feel they do complement each other at times,” Campbell said. “I think being a mother helps me in my role as operations NCO because it’s all about taking care of people.”

Campbell said she discovered a lot about herself while on deployment. That time, she added, was vital in defining her priorities.

“I would do anything for my children and for the military,” Campbell said. “My children will always come first — no matter what.”

It has been said that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. In Campbell’s case, ruling the world is not an aspiration, nurturing and protecting is. As a mother first and citizen-soldier second, she has already set a solid example of what that looks like.

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About Edited by Susan Bainbridge

At age 6, Susan was destined to be a journalist and photographer.  In 1980, Susan founded Bainbridge News and The Bainbridge Chronicle Newspaper. Bainbridge News specializes in Military and National Politics, including Military Funerals and Burials and Political Funerals and Burials.  Susan has covered the White House, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill. She has covered every president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. Recognized for her versatility, Susan has also covered finance, crime, civil rights events, marches, sports, musical events and more. In 1990, she established Bainbridge Photography, an On-Location photography company. In addition to military and political events, including Military and Political funerals and burials, Bainbridge Photography expanded into covering ALL funerals and burials, receptions, weddings, real estate, inventory, insurance, portrait, head shot, pets, fire and Hazmat.  Miss Bainbridge believes in going the extra mile. "My Clients always come first." In 1980, Susan began her career in Washington, D.C., working for WMZQ Radio as a reporter and guest hostess from 1980 to 1985. Intrigued by radio, Susan wanted to write, freelancing for radio, television and print newspapers, including AP, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Northern Virginia Sun, The Press-Republican and The Bainbridge Chronicle (established by Susan Bainbridge). In 1986, Susan worked at WDCA-TV Channel 20 as a guest hostess for "Eye On Washington." From 1990 to 1994, Susan reported and anchored for "The Arlington Weekly News." Additionally, she produced a segment for the G. Gordon Liddy Radio Show. A prolific writer, while in high school in 1977, Bainbridge wrote an episode for NBC's "Little House on The Prairie" entitled "Laura's Best Friend." Though the show's producers did not use the script then, NBC producers encouraged Susan to pursue a writing and journalism career. Susan is a member of the National Press Club, the National Press Photographer's Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Susan Bainbridge's recognitions include from former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the late actor Lorne Greene, among many others. BAINBRIDGE NEWS was founded in 1980 by Susan Bainbridge (a sixth generation writer), a third generation journalist, a first generation photographer and a fourth generation entrepreneur. She is the first generation to establish a news business. Bainbridge News is dedicated in honor of Miss Bainbridge's late grandfather and idol, Mark S. Watson (The Baltimore Sun editor and war correspondent from 1920 to his death in 1966).

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