Military spouses and their children left behind following the deployment of a husband or wife often rely on close community and family support while their mate is away.
Ashleigh Deardurff fills a box of donated socks Friday at Shoe Sensation, 1730 S. Main St. The shoe store is collecting socks and shoelaces to be sent to the Army unit of Mrs. Deardurf’s spouse, Wesley Deardurf, currently deployed in Afghanistan.(EXAMINER PHOTO | NATE SMITH)
For Ashleigh Deardurff, that support comes from both her parents and from her employer, which is also working to support Mrs. Deardurff’s husband and his peers while in Afghanistan.
Shoe Sensation, 1730 S. Main St., accepts donations of socks and shoelaces through December to be sent to troops currently stationed in Afghanistan in a program it has dubbed Socks for Troops.
Mrs. Deardurff — formerly Ashleigh Grimes — worked at Shoe Sensation for a time following her 2010 graduation from Indian Lake High School until she married Wesley Deardurff, a 2008 graduate of Benjamin Logan High School.
The couple moved to Texas following Mr. Deardurff’s enlistment in the Army and they were stationed at Ft. Hood.
“Wesley was deployed to Afghanistan about two months ago,” Mrs. Deardurff said Friday.
Mrs. Deardurff and the couple’s one-year-old child returned to Logan County to live with her parents in Belle Center.
When she called and asked for her job back, management at the local Shoe Sensation went even further.
“They asked about collecting socks and sending them to Wesley’s unit in Afghanistan,” Mrs. Deardurf said. “It’s awesome that not only were they willing to make hours for me while I’m home, but they wanted to do something to support my husband’s unit, also.”
Management at the shoe store speaks highly of Mrs. Deardurff, too.
“Ashleigh was and is one of Shoe Sensation’s top associates,” according to Jason Hower, an area director overseeing the Bellefontaine Shoe Sensation.
Mrs. Deardurff says she’ll be in Logan County until her husband returns from overseas, sometime in June or July.
“I get to talk with him nearly every day via the Internet,” she said. “But it’s not the same and (our son) really misses Wesley.
“The Army gave him a ‘daddy doll’ with his picture in it and he sleeps with it every night.”
She says the socks mean a lot to the soldiers in Afghanistan.
“It’s really important for the soldiers to take care of their feet,” Mrs. Deardurff said, noting that one full box of socks has already been shipped to Afghanistan.
Socks must be generic tube socks free of logos or emblems. They may be purchased from the store and donated or new, unopened packages may be taken in and dropped off.