FORT HOOD, Texas — American troops are put on alert as Russia continues to build up forces along the Ukrainian border.
”The United States has taken steps to heighten its readiness of its forces at home and abroad, so they are prepared to respond to a range of contingencies," said John Kirby, Pentagon Spokesperson.
Soldiers from Fort Hood are among the thousands told to be on alert for a possible deployment to Europe to assist NATO as tensions between Russia and Ukraine continue to rise.
Now Fort Hood units are gearing up in case they get called to action, a feeling Retired Army Major Damon Cleaton knows all too well.
”When you’re young you get all excited thinking 'Hey this is what I signed up for, I’m ready to go,'" said Cleaton. "As you grow up, so to speak, you start thinking ... okay what are we doing this time? Why are we doing it?”
The idea of taking up arms against Russia is not a new concept for Cleaton.
”Growing up, I remember watching the movie 'The Day After' on television. I was terrified of a nuclear war with Russia. I think people have forgotten, especially the younger generation, some of us grew up every day thinking about that.” said Cleaton.
As this next generation waits for orders, their families wait in suspense along with them.
”Besides managing things in the household, and children, and work, you have to think about the safety of your spouse while they are deployed. So, that usually takes precedence over managing everything.” said Lee Ann Davis, a retired veteran and military spouse.
It’s not just spouses that have to be ready to send their soldier off, it is the whole family.
”I think children take it a lot harder than the spouse and that’s just from experience,” said Davis.
Those who have gone through this before have a message for families, especially those with kids.
”Get everybody busy, give them a task. Especially children. Have them help mommy or daddy get their bag ready, get everything laid out, make them a part of it,” said Cleaton.
For now, the decision to deploy troops from Fort Hood has not been made but, that could change at any time.
”Just be patient. Support your military member and just stand by and wait,” said Davis.