Celebrating a new arrival to a military family
Welcome to the world Ayden Jean Clark, daughter of Trevor and Audrey Clark. Ayden Jean was born Oct. 13, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. at Renown Medical Center. She was 7 pounds 6 ounces and 18.5 inches long. This is the first child for both of the parents as well as being the first grandchild for both grandparents, Toby and Traci Clark residing in Minden; Brenda Doland residing in Minden, and Tim Doland residing in Sun City, Calif.
Ayden is also the fourth living generation on both sides of the family. She has two full sets of great grandparents on both sides; Lois and Mort Brown on the father’s side and Bud and Jean Walter on the mother’s side.
Trevor is active duty Army and currently serving in Korea. And thanks to his generous unit and his parents he was able to be home for the birth of his daughter.
The couple is very blessed as they know that when in active duty, this is not a common occurrence, having friends that have missed births, first steps, first words, first birthdays, and many more events in their children’s lives. Trevor and Audrey moved to Fort Sill, Okla., in December 2006, right after their marriage, after being together in high school. In 2008, Trevor was deployed to Iraq for 15 months and their first deployment, although hard, was a great learning experience for the two of them, and bonded their strength a great deal.
In February of this year, they found out they were expecting and coming as a big shock – they were told they could not conceive a few years before – they were very excited.
In May, Trevor had found out that he had orders for Korea that were up in August and he knew he would miss the birth of his first child. The couple was devastated. They had made the decision though, that they would work on getting him home in October even if just for a few days, and he would still go as planned without the extension because when he got back she would only be a 10 month old, instead of a year or more.
They knew this would be hard but life in the military showed no favoritism and no mercy, so they knew they would be strong through this as well. The couple has an amazing support system with family and friends, and knows that with them they will make it through all of this and the other separations along the way.
Being in the military you know you will have trials. You aren’t a true military family without them. Whether it be deployments, field exercises, or trainings on other bases, you are going to be separated from your family many times during your term in. What makes you strong is how you deal with the separations by living your life as normal as you can make it.
Whether you have children or not, you still wake up every day and go about your business and you go through life as if nothing is different. You go through knowing that your spouse is doing something greater than you, greater than your family. They are protecting your rights and those of your fellow Americans. They are protecting our freedom.
When you think about this and you think about the other sacrifices military families have to make, you realize that this is your duty as a spouse, as a family. They call us the silent ranks for this reason. We fight to keep our families stable in times of war. We fight to keep our sanity when you’re a single mother for the fifth time in a 10-year marriage. We fight to answer the questions of “Where’s daddy?” and can only answer “at work” when you know he is doing more than just “work.”
Having just celebrated Veterans Day, we remember to thank our veterans and service members more and more. We need to thank them every day for their service and the sacrifices they make. But not only them, remember to thank their families, as they too are members of the service, the silent ranks.
Toby Clark is a Minden resident.