Friends make deployment tolerable

Tonya Fennell

A group of wonderful, but strikingly different women have recently become a big part of my life.

We all differ in age, family background and personality.

I grew up in Texas, have a house full of kids and can see the age of 40 looming on the horizon. I’m loud (or so my husband says) and sarcastic.

Jennifer grew up in Arkansas and is in her mid-twenties. She is practical, stylish and functions best when there is a well-thought out plan in place.

Cortney is the youngest of the group. She grew up in Pennsylvania and met her husband when they were both still in high school. She is sweet, funny and frugal.

But, although we’re very different, we have many things in common which have drawn us together.
We are all happily married Air Force wives. We are all based at Cannon Air Force Base and all our husbands are currently working far away from home.
While we have been co-workers for almost a year, we were strictly “office buddies” who shared only bits and pieces of our everyday lives with each other.

That is until recently when our husbands were assigned to spend several months on a remote island on the other side of the world.
So, the three of us decided to meet every Sunday to give us something to look forward to each week.
And it has.
We take turns serving as hostess and the chosen person gets to choose the location, menu and activity.
I had the honor of having the first gathering at my house and I was so excited to serve the chicken fettuccini alfredo recipe I had found on the Internet. In fact was so excited, I started cooking hours before the girls arrived which meant the sauce was as thick as paste.
But, no one complained about the sauce or when my daughter slung noodles (sauce and all) all over everyone.

Since then, we have met at Cortney’s house, where we couldn’t figure out why the gas grill wouldn’t ignite, so she cooked the shish kabobs on the stove instead.
And at Jennifer’s, where my daughter shrieked every time my friend’s cats came near her.
Spouses being away is never easy, but with good friends to offer an ear, shoulder or a glass of wine, it is manageable.

Tonya Fennell is the news coordinator for Cannon Connections. She can be reached by e-mailing: