I really miss my kids’ hugs
WARRANT OFFICER JODI PECK
THE Middle East is a long way from the place Jodi Peck calls home in Australia and a million miles from her two children.
But it is her home for now, while her children are in Point Cook, near Melbourne. “It’s the little things I miss the most,” Peck says. “I miss the hugs more than anything in the world. I know they’re safe and being well looked after but the fact is, their mum isn’t there to give them a hug.”
The only time Peck’s cheerful manner stumbles is when she is talking about missing those hugs with Tahlia, 17, and Logan, 16, while she is serving with the Royal Australian Air Force at a base near Dubai on Operation Accordion.
She has been there six months and is counting down the days to coming home. She takes comfort in knowing she will be home in time to help her daughter through Year 12 exams this year.
In the meantime, the children are being cared for by a friend who moved from Canberra to Point Cook for the duration of Peck’s deployment, leaving her own husband at home.
“This is why I say that the RAAF is really my family too,” Peck says. “For me to come away on deployment means I get a lot of support from my work family, which includes the principals of the children’s schools and all of their teachers. I don’t know many other employers who would give me the amount of support that the RAAF has, and where else would you find a friend who was willing to separate from her husband for seven months to relocate and look after my kids.”
Adding to the challenges, Peck, 42, is a single mum who has been divorced for nine years. She has an amicable relationship with her ex-husband, who looked after the children last Christmas while she was away. Peck’s deployment came out of the blue a and ds she e had ad to d discuss scuss it tw witht here c children.d The only objection Logan rais raised was that he wouldn’t agree to her being posted to a w war zone. As a result, sh she is in a safer region at a large supp support base sha shared by US and
Au Aussie forces.
R Royal Australian A Air Force Warrant Officer Jodi Peck w with her children L Logan, left, and T Tahlia.