COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – As tensions rise in Iran and thousands of U.S. troops prepare to deploy, Caroline Koehn is doing her best to stay positive. Her husband, CPT Kevin Koehn, is among the soldiers at Fort Carson who could be called overseas.
“I think you can easily drive yourself crazy worrying, overthinking. There’s a lot of anxiety and loneliness that comes with a deployment.” Koehn said. “It’s always in the back of your mind something like this could happen.”
U.S. troops are on high alert after President Trump ordered an airstrike that killed Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds military force and one of the most powerful figures in the Islamic Republic. The attack is expected to draw Iranian retaliation against Israel and American interests.
It is not clear if, when or how many of Colorado’s military members may be deployed, but it could happen at a moment’s notice. Caroline said she has experienced those rapid deployments before.
“It’s different when you’re anticipating a deployment versus having it kind of thrown at you,” she told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann. “I remember the last deployment my husband had. We thought he was deploying later than he was and we ended up with like five hours [to prepare and say goodbye]. There’s always that craziness that comes with it.”
Caroline has also said goodbye to her father several times when he served with the U.S. Air Force.
“And that’s never easy, especially as a child,” she explained. “You don’t comprehend things as much or as well.”
Now, as a new mom, Caroline is also preparing for the chance her little girl’s dad may be gone for a while.
“I think you have to look at it as that’s what they’re trained for; they’re ready for that,” Caroline said of servicemen and women. “[You] have to have that comfort knowing they are prepared to go overseas.”
Admitting she always has fear her husband may deploy, Caroline said she actively focuses on staying positive and soaking up as much time with her family as she can. That’s her advice to other military spouses and families, too.
“Make sure that you just tell each other that you love each other, and connect when you can,” she said. “Just do the best you can to get through it.”
Caroline added that the support of neighbors, friends and the community is also crucial for families with loved ones deployed. She said nonprofit Blue Star Families is a great organization that’s helped her and countless other military families connect with local resources.