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Sharing the fight: married couple deploys together

The McCoys are one of only a handful of married dual-military couples who are deployed to Bagram together.

Staff Sgt. Hannah McCoy, 455th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron pass and identification office non-commissioned officer-in-charge, and Senior Airman William McCoy, 455th ESFS echo sector command post controller, pose for a photo at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Jan. 20, 2019. The McCoys are one of only a handful of married dual-military couples who are deployed to Bagram together. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kaylee Dubois)

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan --

The military lifestyle can be stressful for families, and a family member deploying can add to that stress. But in rare cases, deployments don’t necessarily mean being apart.

 

Dual-military couple Staff Sgt. Hannah McCoy and Senior Airman William McCoy were able to share the experience of deploying to Bagram Airfield together.

 

“We knew it would only be a matter of time before we were both deployed,” said Hannah. “Being here together takes away the difficulties that come with being separated or dealing with the time difference.”

 

The McCoys are not only sharing the experience of a deployment together--they also work together in the 455th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron. Hannah is the pass and identification office noncommissioned officer-in-charge, while William is the echo sector command post controller.

 

They deployed together out of Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, as members of the 20th Security Forces Squadron.

 

“We’ve been working together since we met in Korea in 2015,” said William. “We have always known that there must be a separation between our home-life and our work-life. We don’t let our relationship get in the way of our work.”

 

The couple said having the same shift has been beneficial to their relationship. Along with meeting for lunch or hitting the gym together, the two can come home to each other at the end of the day.

 

“Knowing I have him to go to after a stressful day or if I need to vent is a perk of being here together,” said Hannah. “But there are times when I just want to be alone and it’s hard when you’re stuck together in a confined space.”

 

Although both find solitude difficult to come by, they also agree being separated would be much tougher.

 

Growing up in military household, William, whose mother served in the U.S. Army for 23 years, was already used to the strain deployments can have on family members.

 

“Relationships are tested in the military,” said William. “Deployments can really put a strain on a married couple, but going through the ups and downs together can make you so much stronger.”

 

The couple dealt with the difficulties of separation when William left Korea a few months before Hannah, so they both feel lucky they had the opportunity to deploy together.

 

Since she joined the military in 2015, Hannah looked forward to experiencing a deployment and believes being in Afghanistan with her husband is more than she could have asked for.

 

“Talking on the phone, writing letters or receiving care packages are a great to keep in touch with your family while deployed,” said Hannah. “But if you get the chance to deploy together, go for it. It really does make a difference having my best friend here every day.”