Mother’s Day in the Middle East
6 May 2011
Breakfast in bed may not be an option for Australian Defence Force (ADF) mothers serving on Operation SLIPPER in the Middle East, however all are looking forward to making contact with their families and loved ones this Mother’s Day.
Chief of Staff of Headquarters Joint Task Force 633, Colonel Andrew Maclean, said deploying away from family and friends for extended periods of time was challenging for all our servicemen and women.
“This Mother’s Day will be particularly challenging for our many serving mothers who are currently deployed away from their families,” Colonel Maclean said.
“On behalf of all the service personnel currently deployed on Operation SLIPPER, I wish mothers, whether deployed over here with us or back home, a safe and enjoyable Mother’s Day.”
Sergeant Sheena Begbie, who is deployed to Al Minhad Air Force Base in the Middle East, is proud that she is able to contribute to an overseas deployment, but she admits it is hard to be away from her three–year-old son, Robert.
“The separation from my family has been the most difficult part of my deployment but we overcome this by communicating as often as possible,” she said.
Most deployed ADF members have access to welfare internet terminals and phones to contact family and friends whilst on deployment.
“While it can’t replace a real hug, a phone call is the next best thing,” said Captain Karen Walk, currently serving at Al Minhad Air Force Base in the Middle East.
“I am looking forward to contacting my boys Jared and Caleb via Skype and a phone call on Mother’s Day.”
Media Note: Defence will not be arranging interviews for the family members of deployed personnel during the Mother's Day period.
Imagery is available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/fotoweb/Grid.fwx?archiveId=5003=&search=20112562
Vision has been fed to Parliament House in Canberra.
Media contact: Defence Media Operations 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664