Deployment Distances...Can the Heart Grow Fonder? Published Nov. 26, 2018 By Chaplain Peter Landers 913th Airlift Group LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE -- One of the major concerns of deployment or long distance trips is staying connected to relationships with others at home. A spouse, child, parent, or friend appreciates the physical presence of the loved one when at home. However, just because a physical person is present, does not always mean that individuals are emotionally or actively present. Vice versa, just because a loved one is absent physically, does not mean that one cannot continue to be emotionally and active in the relationship. Often when a member is deployed, the busyness of the work day and buying into the myth that “my relationship is on hold if I cannot be there physically” often paralyzes a member. The member who is active by writing, calling, Skyping or FaceTime can maintain a vibrant relationship and even grow in connection if intentional. The movie Sleepless in Seattle is a good representation of intimacy through technology. When a person decides to open up and express the emotions and thoughts to another, bonds are created. I also cannot count on my hands how many times I have heard relationships and even marriages cultivated through online connections. Is it hard? Yes, but it can be done. If people learn to love, trust, respect, and support each other from a distance then the relationship will grow, and once back together, they will be resilient and unshakable.