Permanent Deployment: An uncertain future

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by Whitney LB Miller

ANCHORAGE - US Army Alaska's 2d engineer brigade will be inactivating this fall and some soldiers and their families are ending their tour of duty here in the Last Frontier early.

The Klodt family already knows their new assignment however they don't know where or when they will leave. Now this family is at a cross road.

"My son he'll probably be heart broken …he really loves Alaska," said Fred Klodt, a military police officer with the 2d engineer brigade.

Fred Klodt and his wife Sarah met in basic training when they were both preparing to become military police officers.

Together they have three beautiful children.

Once the Klodt's decided to start a family and after sarah deployed to iraq a number of times. They then decided it was time for sarah to get out of the service.

"There was no way we would do dual military because then with the deployment schedule our kids would be without one of us eventually and that just wasn't something that we were willing to compromise," said Sarah Klodt.

The family has been in alaska since 2011 and although they love the beautiful scenery the state has to offer they weren't that heart broken to hear that they could end up closer to home near Kentucky.

"Its actually very exciting with the career path, going with recruiting; Alaska is a good tour but its difficult up here though but we get to go back home that's exactly what it is, its home," said Klodt.

When the deactivation was announced SSgt. Klodt found out fairly quickly that he and his family would be leaving Alaska.    

He put in to become a recruiter and he got it but that's all the family knows right now.

"We know that he got accepted as a recruiter, we know that hopefully it will be around the Kentucky/Tennessee area where he has put in to be. That's kind of all we know at this point we don't know when," she said.

Because the Klodt's have school aged children the Army tries to make their family a priority when it comes to shipping out.

Right now the Klodt's hope to leave july first, but until they get an answer from HR it may get pushed back to October.

"I can't research schools, I can't research school districts pediatricians, I can't research housing areas I can't research neighborhoods any of that because I have no idea where were going. So all of those things that a mother wants to do my hands are tied."

Even with all the frustration Sgt. Klodt says his initial command has been open and upfront about the deactivation and he's happy with his new career path.

His wife however feels more could be done to insure families like hers with young children can at least plan for the future.

"I wish that there was a way for the higher up to be a little more in touch with what the families are going through …the uncertainty is really hard on us when your trying to move a whole family unit," she said.

Although the uncertainty is unnerving the family says its difficult yet there are still positives.

"Positive is we get a little bit of this beautiful Alaskan summer; positive is its great for his career... and positive is getting us back to our family which of course is number one for us,"she said.

In the mean time the Klodt's are soaking up the Alaskan summer until they have to pack it up and ship it out.