'I try to stay positive': Spouses of soldiers deployed to Poland react to Russia-Ukraine crisis

Paige Powell said her husband was a part of two sudden deployments: The first in Afghanistan, and the second to Poland.

ByTim Pulliam WABC logo
Friday, February 25, 2022
Fort Bragg wives cope with latest military deployment
Fort Bragg wives cope with latest military deployment

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- Military spouses from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, understand communication during deployments can be challenging and limited, especially if their partner can't use their personal phone.

"If you don't hear anything from them, that's usually a good thing, and that's what I learned being a military spouse for the last few years," said Paige Powell, a barista at a coffeehouse in nearby Fayetteville.

Earlier this month, President Joe Biden approved the deployment of 4,700 combat troops to Poland before Russia invaded Ukraine. Their mission is to train and provide deterrence but not to engage in combat in the eastern European country, according to the Pentagon.

MORE: Russia-Ukraine live updates

Russia pressed its invasion of Ukraine to the outskirts of Kyiv Friday, with explosions rocking the capital city.

Powell's husband, Amonte Miller, was among the military personnel deployed.

Over the past two weeks, she said she received only three five-minute calls from her husband from random numbers.

"Mostly we just talk about how my day was. I don't want to ask him too much about it because I can't know too much," Powell said. "It's a little hard. We've been going through it a bit ourselves."

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The pair are still adjusting to the challenges of marriage after three years and two sudden deployments, with Miller's first to Afghanistan.

Abbey Barker and Elly Quellar are military wives who know the struggle. Barker's partner is still on base at Fort Bragg for now.

"It's always in the back of your mind, but I believe in my significant other and what he does," Barker said.

"I pray for them, because every day is something new," Quellar added.

WATCH: Ukrainians leave country as fighting breaks out with Russian forces

Thousands of displaced Ukrainian citizens have escaped to Poland and other parts of Europe since Russian military forces invaded the country.

Local business owners told our sister station WTVD said so far, they have faced little impact from the latest deployment, but they are prepared to pivot services.

Powell calls her coffee shop a safe space for military wives to connect, a place where she can take her mind off what's happening with her husband overseas.

"I have faith though. I try to stay positive," she said. "I was not in a good place when he was deployed before, but I'm in a better place now."