Cumberland County churches offer support, helping hand to families of deployed soldiers

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Troops arriving in the Middle East to provide support are leaving some loved ones a little anxious; but many Cumberland County churches are providing them with support.

"Everybody is connected to somebody in the military. And so, it's a pretty common cycle for us," Jonathan Fletcher said.

3,500 more troops from Fort Bragg's 82nd Airborne Division to deploy to Middle East

Fletcher is a teacher pastor at Manna Church and says they're used to seeing someone constantly deployed.

With military families making up around 70 percent of their 7,000 members across the Sandhills region, they can see their numbers slightly drop during deployments like the ones to Kuwait in response to the Iran and U.S. tensions.

He, along with other members of the church, also see the toll it takes on those waiting back home.

"Generally, they are pretty well-trained. They know what's happening, they know what's coming; but when it happens in a moment, yeah, that can be frightening," Fletcher said.

Manna provides members small groups to encourage fellowship with one another, it's one way military families can stay connected and support each other during deployments.

"We encourage all of our soldiers who are leaving and their families to build a combat coverage team, that's a group of people who will pray for them by name," Fletcher said.

The pastor says they also personally pray with soldiers or loved ones that come forward and ask for it.

Over at the Village Baptist Church in Fayetteville, it's in its second year of its deployment spouse program.

Members of the program provide spouses with babysitting services, home repair, shopping, or any other services that may take the work-load off a loved one.

As the troops work to fulfill their duty, members of the Cumberland County community aim to make sure those back home are taken care of.

"One thing I've discovered about people in the military and their families: they are resilient. And so, they're just strong of character," Fletcher said.
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