Archives: Seasons 1-5
Segment | Segment

Separated By War

Originally broadcast April 8, 2010. Watch The Homecoming to see what happened seven months later.

Tammy Gallagher often refers to herself as a married, single parent of three kids. Her husband, a Marine Staff Sergeant, left this week for Afghanistan. It's his second tour there. Before that, Iraq. LA Times columnist Steve Lopez takes us inside the lives of women like Tammy, who struggle to keep it all together — and keep their worries and fears hidden from their children — when their husbands go off to war.

Also check out Associate Producer Christal Smith's Q&A with Nancy Sherman, an author trained as a philosopher and psychoanalyst. Sherman has written a book analyzing the mentality of a soldier both in combat and at home.

Focus: Special Services to Help Military Families Cope — Provides a variety of services for children and spouses of those on military deployment.
Operation Love Reunited — An organization that links volunteer photographers, who create visual galleries for families whose loved ones are leaving or returning from deployment.
Operation Hug-A-Hero — Provides children of deployed service men and women with support and a doll of their parent.
When Parents Are Deployed — Sesame Street Workshop special on helping military children cope with separation anxiety hosted by Academy Award-winner Cuba Gooding, Jr.

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This is an excellent segment. An honest and informative peek into the lives of those affected by repeated deployments. Should be required viewing for any family facing deployment downrange.

As Tammy's sister, who knows her well, I thought the piece was right on with it's portrayal of Tim and Tammy's life and what they are faced with. This segment highlighted the positives while not ignoring the realities of military life. Well done!

This story was so beautifully done!
They really respected the Gallagher family, and the other families interviewed. We are so proud of those who serve our wonderful country and the strong families that stand behind them at home.

Every story deserves a rebuttle. The major problem in 1st LAR is that they dont care enough about the junior enlisted Marines and their familes as highlighted by only portraying senior enlisted and officers wives in this video. I have stories to tell about true hell caused by this unit and their "family readiness" team. This unit also does not care about wives that are left behind and have no children. I can recall a pre deployment wive only meeting before these marines shipped out to Iraq where it was suggested that we all sell our husbands clothes that we dont like, or other various items of their while they were gone. This unit is a joke to the Marine Corps and I am disgusted that they were used in this video to talk about familes separated by war. In addition the 1st LAR wives clearly lack OPSEC by discuss on national television training excerecises and locations.

Wow what an honest and moving piece! My uncle recently deployed and his sacrifice is shared by those who love him and worry about him everyday! To me the story really hit home and one thing that came across was the commaraderie of the women who share a sacrifice that the rest of us can only thank them for.

Wow I am sorry that you have had such a difficult time, I am also a 1st LAR wife and I can tell you that there are resources out there to help you deal with the challenges you are facing. There are resources for daycare, there are free gyms on base, there are activities for the children and you may think about putting your money where your mouth is and volunteering to be a key wife so that you yourself can be a resource to other Marine wives. If you are truely having difficulty coping the Marine Corp offers free counseling just contact your family readiness officer for details or your primary physician for a referral. We are all in this together we all get scared and we all get angry but we need to get past it and take care of ourselves our families and each other. We are 1st LAR.

Let's see in case you had a difficult time reading. 1st LAR seems to only care about people with children, not all of us feel a need to mass produce prior to or after our husband's deployments. Counseling is not what was needed either, I am pretty sure last deployment what I needed was someone to help me move out of my house on Mainside when there were fires and I had no one, because the FRO and the KV's had told another 1st LAR wife that no 1st LAR spouses lived on mainside. In addition I had 2 surgerys while my husband was deployed not only did I seek help from the KV's for someone to drive me to the surgerys and I got no response but a week later there is a mass email sent out to make dinners for a 1st LAR wife that was "struggling" must be nice. I attended 3 1st LAR events during last deployment where I was ignored and alienated. You KV's are laughable, really are you struggling? getting your botox and boob job's while your husband is away? selling his bikes, and his cars, picking up and taking off with his children to go live with other men and then come back a few days before your husband gets back and pretend like you missed them. Trust me 1st LAR wives are known on that base for their, promiscuity, infidelity, addictions, dishonesty and so on. I have nothing nice to say about this unit especially the KV's that seem to "struggle during deployments." I am pretty sure the 1st LAR wife motto is "all is fair in love during war". You see Holly I am not angry about deployment I am more annoyed that wives like you like to twist reality in order to get sympathy. Once again 1st LAR wives good job on emphasizing the importance of OPSEC. (it seems to be one of your biggest concerns right Holly?)

ok... in all this segment is moving.. BUT going back to the previous comments... there are alot of truths! I wish it was perfect.. but face it life isn't.. women are catty & not everyone gets along... after all if we did our husbands wouldn't be off fighting wars! OPSES is very important, & though some might not see the problem in this video.. I DO.. as a former KEY WIFE! I know it has been told to most every wife (if not every wife) the importance of OPSEC for both your husbands but also the entire battalion! SO PLEASE remember, don't discuss any training exercises OR LOCATIONS!!!!!
I had a child during all my husbands deployments with this battalion, but have seen first hand the lack of care from the "family readiness" team for wives left behind with no children!
I have "put my money where my mouth is" became a key wife to help support other wives during this last deployment.. BUT I wasn't all about hanging out with all the other KV.. Thats not what I volunteered my time for... I worked full time with a 2 1/2 yr old daughter, i hardly had the time to volunteer to begin with. But helping other wives was important to me.. & something i felt strongly about doing...But when i got into a horrible car accident.. I called my KVC... I was on the side of the road on Oeanside BLVD.. no car, a month into the deployment & didn't know what to do (it was our only means of transportation!) i told my KVC (yes thats right people the key volunteer coordinator for my husbands company) what happened & her words where "what do you want me to do about it" umm maybe call the FRO & see if i could possible talk to my husband.. or hell even ofter to come pick a stranded "fellow LAR wife" up from the side of the road... (mind you i spent another 30 or so mins after that trying to find a way home)! I could go on & on about how the family readiness team & this battalion has failed me & my family! you see this system has alot of flaws.. this battalion hasn't always shown they cared about every wife... & at that point i decided i could no long support a unit that didn't support me & gave up my position as a KV.. My KVC shouldn't have had the response! though she may not have known what to do, she could have said let me call the FRO & i'll call you right back.. or maybe even had a heart enough to ask if i or my precious little girl was ok! She volunteered to be there for other women & their families.. she failed!
You see I don't nor have a ever had a problem with the marine corp.. or problems coping with depolyments... I had problems getting help & infomation from the FRO & KVN when it was needed most! My husband has been with multiple battalions & no others have been this bad!
Work is work.. & life isn't always perfect.. I'm not complaining.. BUT i wont except this for myself nor my family... I refuse to settle for this & say/think this is all the battalions of 1st LAR is capable of giving their wives/family left behind while their husbands are sacrificing precious time, moments & memories away from them!

ohh... & might i add from my post above! the KVC did call the FRO! he was supposed to get a message to my husband about my accident! since he is in constant commucation with the cammond while they're deployed! MY HUSBAND NEVER GOT THE MESSAGE!

Thank you for allowing us into your life the way you did, and thank you both for your service.

Sorry you're so bitter. Obviously, you and your husband have had a difficult time. It's hard being in any unit these days, but to say LAR is a joke is ridiculous. There are good men from the bottom to the top in that unit, and you should probably think about that before you call the entire unit (and your husband) a joke. Also, it's no secrete where Marines train. OPSEC......It's hard to hide a 930 sq mile chunk of desert.
My thoughts are with your husband as he serves our country.

If you are a military wife or a female in uniform, you need to know about Operation Homefront's online forum, "", the largest on line forum in the world that is dedicated and made up of women who have been through, or who are going through what you are.
Check it out at
You will find candid advice for every aspect of the unique military life and you will, in turn, be able to offer help to those who are less experienced than you!
Please know...You are part of a large family and are never alone.
Blessings to You & Yours!

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