Central Texas Heroes: married in the military

WACO, Texas (KWTX) In 1978, Terry Fountain was single, young, and hungry to make strides in the Army.

Veterans Jackeline and Terry Fountain

But years later a young woman, a soldier with a love for life and country, caught his eye.

He met Jackeline when he was a chemical specialist in the 82nd Airborne.

They got married just before Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield.

And when that conflict began in the Middle East Terry Fountain was sent to deal with it.

"Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the only airborne chemical unit in the free world, so I deployed with them to Desert Storm, Desert Shield," he told us, "it was pretty difficult because the unit I was in was one of those rapid deployments, so you couldn't even speak to your family until 18 hours after."

Fountain had to leave behind his wife, with no knowledge of her husband's deployment until he was already gone.

It was a strain on all his soldiers.

"Motivating soldiers to want to be there, worrying about what was going on with their families back home because of communication," he said.

And Fountain says he was proud of how Jackeline handled it.

"She took care of the homefront, she was a soldier so it made it a little bit easier," he said.

But at that time there was very little support from the military when it came to dealing with family back home.

He said, "we learned from that, that's why the family support system came in assuring that family members had what they need to survive if the soldier had to leave."

Even with support, deployments present complex challenges for a family with two parents on active duty.

He remembers when he was stationed in Germany with Jackeline and their children, but Uncle Sam sent Jackeline to another location in Europe, and the family was separated.

He said they had to send the kids back home because they were in two different places.

Now he says there are many more resources for military families.

Fountain retired in 2009 and now he and Jackeline spend a lot of time making sure military families know what those things are.

They work to improve awareness through the Association of the United States Army.

He said, "my wife and I co-sponsor that meeting with new soldiers each week, briefing them on benefits and how they work for us as soldiers."

And the Fountains hope they can leave their legacy of service with their children.

Fountain, said, "I just hope they see everything their mother and I have done to give back to our country and what this country has done for us. And it was just great to serve."