Utahns On The Front Line: Families Separated By Duty

Jan 15, 2020

Tyler Lindsay embraces his wife Tien at the Salt Lake City airport upon his return from a deployment in Afghanistan.
Credit Tien Lindsay

U.S. military families cope with extraordinary challenges everyday to serve their country.  In the first installment of this story, we met Tyler and Tien Lindsay, a married couple serving together. In our second and final installment, the couple reveals how the dynamics of their marriage changed after Tien retired from the military, but Tyler continued to serve.

Tien: “I got pregnant, so we figured that it would be good for one of us to be out of the military. And unfortunately we lost the baby when I was seven months pregnant, and so I gave birth to a still-born and his name is Humphrey. And at that time, about two months after we had this loss, Tyler got called up to deploy.”

Tyler: “I deployed one more time after that, so I was deployed in Afghanistan.”

 

Tien: “I mourned quietly to myself, and I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone.  I wanted to have this portrayal of I’m strong, I’m fine. Everything’s okay. And that was really hard with Tyler being gone.”

 

Tyler: “As a deployed soldier, if things are not going well at home, that makes things extra difficult. So I think that family, in a way, knows that to some degree so they don’t tell them all the things that are happening or that could be going wrong.”

 

Tien: “There was an interesting conversation we had while we were [video] chatting.  I remember I heard the siren, and I’m very familiar with what those sirens sound like.  It was informing the people on base that there was a mortar coming in. And I remember going ‘uh-oh’ and Tyler goes...”

 

Tyler: “I gotta go!”

 

Tien: “And I’m like ‘Ugh!’ To be in that situation on the other side of the fence, that was truly frustrating.  It wasn’t like before when we could hold onto each other. When Tyler said ‘I gotta go’ I was so angry. I think I ran three miles that evening in the gym or something.”

 

Tien: “I joke around a lot and I call Uncle Sam the mistress and I’m the second wife.  I’ve accepted this as a military spouse.”

 

Tyler is still an active member of the military.  He is currently at home in Cache County, but could be deployed at any time.