Officer Spouse Deployments Create Unique Challenges

Gonzales, Louisiana (September 22, 2021) Salvation Army Officers are trained clergy and full-time employees of The Salvation Army who, generally, oversee the execution of the mission and ministry of The Salvation Army in a local community. Many times, Salvation Army Officers consist of a married couple who work together to ensure that needs are met in the name of Jesus without discrimination.

In times of disaster, The Salvation Army will often deploy one-half of the married couple to respond to the situation at hand while the other spouse remains in the community to ensure the local Salvation Army does not have a lapse in service delivery. These deployments create unique opportunities for public service while often putting their personal lives on hold for a brief period.

Take, for example, Captains Bryan and Tracy Brinlee, Corps Officers of The Salvation Army in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Captain Bryan Brinlee was deployed to Louisiana hours after Hurricane Ida made landfall in August. A few short days later, Captain Tracy Brinlee was notified that her services would be needed after the crew’s transitional period, essentially separating the two on emergency disaster deployments in Louisiana for just shy of a month. Not only can it cause separation anxiety, but it can also cause additional stress knowing the one left behind is singularly responsible for all program and services for the church.

For Bryan, it is a second deployment yet the first for Tracy. Bryan states “it’s exciting because you are going to do something new, yet it’s not necessarily that way for the person you left behind.” Tracy goes on to say, “we are very grateful we have a Corps that has excellent staff that has been developed and fostered with good leadership.”

Another example is Captains David and Amanda Brittle, Corps Officers of The Salvation Army in Enid, Oklahoma.  Captain Amanda Brittle was also called to her first deployment shortly after Hurricane Ida hit.  In similar circumstances as above, Captain David was sent later.  Yet Captain Amanda says, “I love the ministry of the canteen.  I receive energy from serving and praying with the survivors of Hurricane Ida.”

Captain David Brittle, who has seen multiple deployments, states, “When providing service, sometimes it is uncomfortable, such as leaving the comforts of home, yet ministry can happen anywhere.  It is hard leaving your children and wife at home; however, we are called to serve and sometimes that includes disasters where people are hurting.  We are called to serve others.”

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