Delaware's National Guard and Air Guard Members: Serving in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait
Delaware’s heroes are not just the ones deployed overseas. The others are holding down the forts at home.
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It was 1:30 on a cool March morning in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and Capt. Kelly Carey was sleeping soundly and loudly (his daughter Claudia claims he is a world-class snorer) when his BlackBerry Tour rang. Scrambling from his bunk, Carey grabbed the phone, only to see that he had just missed a call from home—Seaford, Delaware.
Carey has 20 years of Army service—16 in the National Guard—and 12 years as a teacher, including a stint last year as principal of Frederick Douglass Elementary School in Seaford. So panic
has been scrubbed from his psyche. But the early hour, and the fact that the expensive-to-use Tour is reserved for emergencies, made him uneasy.
Quickly, he texted back: “What’s up? Something wrong?”
In Seaford, where it was 4 p.m. the previous day, Carey’s wife, Rachael, and 11-year-old Claudia were engaged in a contest of wills—over the term “double-space.”
“Claudia was having trouble completing her research paper for school,” explained Carey in a recent phone interview from Kandahar, “and she didn’t believe her mom about what ‘double-space’ meant, so Rachael called me. I responded with a text to Claudia via my wife that said, ‘Your Mother is right,’ and I explained what double-space meant.”
Then he added, “You should stop being as hard-headed as your old man. I’m the only one allowed to be hard-headed.”
Dilemma solved, Claudia finished the paper and wound up getting an A. Carey went back to sleep with a contented smile.
“Not a big deal to us adults,” he says, “but at the time it was a crisis for my daughter.”
Carey is among six members of the Delaware Army National Guard who last June volunteered to join the Mississippi Army National Guard’s 184th Expeditionary Sustainment Command for deployment to Afghanistan. After two months of training in the United States, the 184th arrived at Kandahar Air Base last August and assumed logistics support for American and coalition forces. They return home late this month or in early August.
Page 2: Standing Guard, continues...