SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – According to the Council on Foreign Relations, just under 1.29 million men and women serve in the military. That is less than 0.5 percent of the U.S. population.
The families of military service members face unique challenges.
For the Reep family, they understand these challenges all to well. Three of their sons have either served or are serving in the U.S. military and a fourth is looking to join within the next year.
“I think they all feel that it is an opportunity to serve their country,” said Jeff Reep, their father.
Currently Jeff’s son, Jason, is stationed overseas in the Middle East. He was deployed in December, just before American-Iranian tensions began to brew.
Jason is a member of the United States Marine Corps’ crisis response team. Following recent escalations, his deployment was extended although the family hasn’t been given more information for the safety and security of the troops.
“We don’t know anything,” explained Criss Reep, Jason’s mother. “It’s just day-to-day, and we’re fine with that. I feel, for me, the less I know the better.”
Jason is married and recently welcomed a baby boy to the world. The Reep’s explain that the uncertainty of deployments can put a strain on military spouses.
“They are right in the middle of it, “said Jeff.
Jason’s wife has the support of her sister-in-law and other family members according to the Reeps. They say they also get a certain level of support from their church, friends, and overall community which makes a big difference.
They also share that their faith allows them to remain positive and believe that their son will return home safely and their other children will stay protected throughout their years of service.
“We just trust the Lord with them and their lives, just like we would if they were on the highway,” said Criss.
As of now, Jason is expected to return home in the Summer of 2020.