USAA employee Loryn A. and her sons were prepared to spend Christmas without her husband, Shawn, while he was deployed with the U.S. Air Force.
Last December didn’t begin smoothly for USAA employee Loryn A. It started with her husband’s deployment to the Middle East with the U.S. Air Force.
“Within the first five days of my husband, Shawn, being gone, I had to take my dog to the emergency room, then one of my sons to the emergency room,” recalls Loryn, USAA quality assurance specialist, Bank. “Then we had tornado warning near our home.”
As a military spouse, Loryn works from her home in Illinois.
“Even before COVID, I didn’t get to be close to my teammates,” she says. “There is no office nearby and I’m kind of on my own.”
Shortly before the holidays, Loryn says she told her manager in a one-on-one that she was feeling disconnected from the mission.
“I don’t have contact with the members and I’m not close to a campus,” she says. “I wasn’t sure how to fix it. He said we’ll focus on recharging over the holidays and then see what we can do in the new year.”
Meanwhile, Shawn learned that not only would he be missing Christmas with his family, but he wouldn’t even make it home for New Year’s Eve.
“They thought they were going to return on December 28th, but when they were there, they learned that there were no military aircraft coming back,” says Loryn. “He didn’t tell me about the situation because he didn’t want me to worry about it.”
On Christmas Eve, Loryn had just put her sons to bed when she heard someone at her front door.
It was Shawn.
He and his fellow airmen were approved to take a commercial flight home, but they couldn’t travel with their equipment nor could they leave it behind.
“Two of his teammates volunteered to stay back with the equipment so the rest of the team could come home for Christmas,” says Loryn. “They sacrificed the holidays with their families for us. As my husband was telling me this, I was like, I’m reconnected. If they can give up their holidays for me and my family, I can do this for them.’”