Des Moines, Iowa --
Some of the hardest moments in any relationship is time spent away from one another. Missed moments and lonely nights come frequently for military families. However, through it all, military spouses stand tall and face these times with a rock-like demeanor. Master Sgt. Nicholas Fleury and his wife Krista Fleury are no exception to this.
Fleury grew up in Ponca, Nebraska and joined the Iowa Air National Guard at the 185th Air Refueling Wing in Sioux City, Iowa in 2000, from there he moved to the 114th Fighter Wing in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. There he attended South Dakota State University (SDSU), where he would meet Krista on a night out.
Krista grew up in Santa Barbara, California and moved to SDSU in 2002. After a couple dates with Fleury, Krista moved home for the summer and he worked on a commercial fishing boat in Alaska. The two managed to stay in touch over the summer and rekindled when the fall semester rolled back around. The two married in 2006 and are celebrating their anniversary soon. The Fleury’s moved from Sioux Falls to Vandenberg Air Force Base (AFB), California in 2011, and are now currently stationed at the 132d Wing in Des Moines, Iowa where he works with the 132d Force Support Squadron (FSS).
Krista said one of her biggest worries about being in a relationship with someone in the military was knowing that there would be moments he would miss. This ranges from monthly duties to training dates and, most importantly, deployments, of which Fleury has had two. Krista said with any of those comes the unexpected and not knowing when he’ll be home.
“I think the deployments are the hardest, just that time spent apart,” said Krista. “You just never know when he’ll be home, they say Tuesday and he doesn’t get home till Saturday, you just kind of have to go with the flow and be flexible.”
Another of Krista’s worries was the moves between bases. She said the move to Vandenberg AFB was thankfully easy since it was close to her family and they had support from them. However, the move to Des Moines was more difficult because neither had been before. She said there was a lot of support from not just family, but fellow guardsmen and their families as well. This help was prominent especially when it came to making a permanent change of station (PCS) move, notably with the process of packing; as well as the five month separation the two faced while Fleury settled in Iowa and she took care of the kids, among other things, in California.
While Fleury was setting up their life in Iowa he was met with a warm welcome from his fellow Airmen, their kind acts of service included a place to stay while the Fleury’s bought a house.
“They say guard is family and that’s very true,” said Fleury.
Through everything, Krista has always been willing to volunteer and help out with Fleury’s units. While Fleury was stationed at Vandenberg AFB, Krista volunteered to be a key spouse with his unit; key spouses are coordinators between the Family Readiness Center and families, especially of deployed members. Recently while stationed here in Des Moines, Krista has volunteered her time and helped with events such as the Christmas Party. Krista said her and their two daughters will often bake cookies for the troops or find other ways to show their support to their military family.
“We know it’s not just a job, it’s who he is,” said Krista. “The military is part of our home.”