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Last fall, the Beacon brought readers a story of a young woman preparing for the arrival of her first child. What would be a nerve-racking experience for any expecting mother was amplified by the fact that this young woman’s husband was gearing up to deploy to Afghanistan as she prepared for the baby’s arrival.
But Chelsea Farmer, who you may remember as the Real Army Wife of Brunswick County, handled the challenge with strength and grace. We featured Chelsea in our fall issue of The Real Women of Brunswick County in 2010 while she was home to visit family. Chelsea and her husband, Aaron, were living in Fort Knox, Ky., as Aaron prepared for his deployment oversees.
Pfc. Farmer, who is part of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, 2-2 Infantry, Bravo Company, deployed to Afghanistan on Jan. 16, 2011—11 days after Aaron and Chelsea welcomed Chloe Jade Farmer into the world.
“Chloe was born Jan. 5, 2011. My life has changed dramatically, but in a good way. You never realize you can love someone so much until you have a baby. She is the most precious thing Aaron and I could have ever been blessed with,” Chelsea said.
But, Chelsea admits, it is not without its challenges.
“Raising Chloe without Aaron is tough. A lot of Army wives with children will agree that once your husband deploys, you are automatically a ‘single parent.’ It’s hard to make all the decisions for Chloe without Aaron, but it’s my job as an Army wife to keep our life stateside together.
“Even though it has been hard these past nine months, I know that Chloe will always have everything we will ever need and more. I have been living with my parents for the past nine months, so they have helped out a lot, as well as Aaron’s family who lives just as close,” Chelsea said.
For Chelsea and Chloe, they are part of the new fabric of American military lives. As husbands deploy, wives raise their children as if they were single mothers. Aaron, sworn to protect this great nation, has missed most of the first year of his daughter’s life—one of the countless sacrifices made by him and other members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Last month, Aaron came home for his R&R to visit with Chelsea, Chloe and the rest of their family here in Brunswick County. He was home from Aug. 24-Sept. 9, and Chelsea said he is finishing up his tour in Afghanistan, saying “he will be home no later than the beginning of next year.”
Hopefully, he’ll be home in time to help Chloe celebrate her first birthday, which will be back in Kentucky.
After spending most of 2011 back home in Brunswick County, Chelsea and Chloe are headed back to Kentucky. Chelsea said she wants to get their home ready for Aaron’s homecoming, and to get involved with other Army wives through a Family Readiness Group and Operation Faithful Support Group.
“The most rewarding thing about being an Army wife would be supporting my husband with what he does for our country and knowing that he is supporting me in my decisions for our family back home. Being an Army mother is great. Chloe doesn’t really understand what is going on right now, and that does make it easier being an Army mother, right now.
“I don’t have to explain to her why her daddy has to leave, and why he isn’t home. But I know if she did understand she would still love him just as much as she does now and she would support him just like I do. Whether Aaron makes a career out of the Army or not, Chloe will be raised to be proud of her country and knowing her daddy served to protect and give us our freedom we still have today, which will give it more meaning,” Chelsea said.
I’d like to thank Chelsea for sharing her story with us—both a year ago and again today—and I’d like to thank young Chloe for sharing her daddy with all of us.
Brunswick County should be proud to be home to a family like the Farmers, and the many other military families who are all making sacrifices for the betterment of our country.