MOORE — The military prides itself in taking care of families of deployed Servicemembers, whether it’s mowing the lawn, fixing a leaky faucet, looking after the children so mom or dad can have some well-deserved time off, or whatever the case might be.
A group of Oklahoma Army National Guardsmen, added coming to the aid of a deployed spouse in the wake of a tornado to the list.
Sgt. Jonathan Manning, who is serving a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan with the 1245th Transportation Company, 90th Troop Command, Oklahoma Army National Guard, recently found himself in a hopeless situation when the duplex his wife, Victoria, rented just three weeks ago was damaged by the powerful May 20 twister that destroyed hundreds of homes and business, causing an estimated $2 billion in damage and claiming 24 lives, including 10 children.
But thanks to several members of Manning’s parent company, the 1345th Transportation Company, several friends and other Guard members, Victoria is in good hands. She also has a better understanding of what the Guard family is all about.
“We had been dating for a while and when he got his deployment notice, we had discussed whether we should get married before, or after the deployment,” Victoria said. “That’s when he said to me one of the most romantic things I’ve ever heard and that’s, ‘When I’m gone, I want to make sure you’re taken care of no matter what happens.’
“Most of that I assumed to mean if he gets killed overseas, that his wife would be taken care of…I really understand what that means now,” Victoria added.
The couple was married in August and Jonathan deployed in January. Since then, Victoria’s extended Guard family has grown exponentially.
A team of about 25-30 volunteers met up on the Saturday morning to help Victoria and other Soldiers pick up the pieces after the powerful tornado rolled through the Moore area. For the dozen or so volunteers who showed up to help Victoria, their mission of loading up all of her belongings and providing some basic cleanup was complete less than an hour later, leaving her with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude.