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Army wife juggles life’s challenges

Amanda Huston has patience, perspective and perseverance

Amanda Huston, mother to four boys, holds it together the best she can.

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"The key to surviving a deployment is to get out and do things. You have a whole year, so find what you want to do and do it!" advised Amanda Huston, veteran Army wife. This comes from the mother of four boys - aged 7 to 13 - who doesn't make excuses.

Huston, who has her BS in psychology and early childhood development, has home schooled her 9-year-old Jeremy for close to three years due to his Sturge-Weber Syndrome. The neurological disorder often presents itself in repeated seizures, ADHD and glaucoma, among other complications.

A typical morning, which includes another child for whom Huston provides before and after school care, starts with breakfast at 7:30 a.m., a run to school at 8 a.m. and then class at 9:15 a.m. for Jeremy. The front room in their house looks like a second grade classroom and for 30-minute segments throughout the day Huston becomes a second grade teacher instead of a mom. She follows a Christian-based home schooling program but often has to adapt.

"Sometimes if he is distracted we'll do other things. Like cooking so he learns something practical, like following a recipe," she said.

Since she would like to return to work, Huston just completed an International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) course and is now poised to take the final, which will certify her for personal training. The job would not only allow for a flexible schedule but is something she loves doing.

Her husband, First Sergeant Huston, is currently serving with 4/2 in Iraq. This is his second deployment within the past three years. As if she wasn't busy enough, Huston also serves as the FRG leader for 2-23 Aztec Co.

As of Feb. 4, the Hustons will have been stationed at JBLM for nine years. Due to Jeremy's medical issues the family has been able to do what many in today's military cannot - homestead here and have stability.

"It is heart-wrenching for us to see some of the people we grow close with leave while we stay behind," said Huston. "But at the same time my boys are settled and we have a great off-base support system through our church and neighbors."

"Besides, like I always tell my new wives, the Army is small," Huston said with a characteristic laugh. "You never know when you'll see someone again."

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