War on the Homefront

By: Meryl Conant
By: Meryl Conant

We send them letters, cards, well wishes, prayers. Service members fighting overseas get a lot of our attention. But what about the spouses, sons and daughters they leave behind?

One Valley wife and mother is fighting the war on the homefront.

She is 21-year old Brittany Shifflett, and she wears many hats. She's a nurse, a new homeowner, the wife of a National Guardsman, and the mother of two, one just nine-days-old.

The sound of a new life is a sound Brittany Shifflett's husband Corey can't hear. He's serving in Afghanistan.

"I don't have anybody just to run to the store and get milk for me or to just do simple little things," said Brittany. "And I wish he was here to feel the baby and, you know, just the small stuff that matters."

Like seeing his two-year-old son Jaden growing up.

"I want to see my daddy, Mommy," said Jaden. "I want to see my daddy, Mommy."

"I have to find ways to tell Jaden what's going on and explain things to him and be a mommy and a daddy," said Brittany.

And on top of that, Brittany was a full-time nurse until recently.

"I was juggling between finding family to keep him and friends and coming home from work and trying to still keep a family for me and Jaden, still have a meal on the table," she said.

And having so many balls in the air gets tiresome after a while.

"It is so hard some days to get up and just face the day knowing that I have so much to do and nobody to come home to at night but my son," she said with tears in her eyes.

But Brittany was able to come home to her husband at least for a while.
Corey recently got two weeks leave.

But she knows it was just a short-lived reunion and then she's back tending the home fires on her own.

"I'm going to have a newborn and a two-year-old and a new house and have to start back to work and then my problems are going to be doubled," she explained.

Corey Shifflett is heading back to Afghanistan on Wednesday and is expected to come home for good in July.

He was able to see the birth of his daughter Brooklen Noel Shifflett on February 18.


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