FOX47 NEWS - Army Dad Home for Father's Day

Jeff Angileri
Jun 21, 2009, 6:19 PM

First Sergeant Jim Venske spent last father's day overseas -- a 13 month stay at Guantanamo Bay Military Base in Cuba, thousands of miles away, missing out on birthdays, holidays, and precious moments.

Don't underestimate the length of a year, he said. For the average person, think where you are today, go ahead a year -- all that happened in your life, your family's life, your community's life -- you weren't there for -- there's an awful lot that's there.

Despite 21st century technology, keeping in touch with wife Audrey, and children Dustin, Cassie, and Amanda wasn't always easy.

It was always a very static-filled connection, Amanda said. Having a video chat on the computer was a little better, but nothing was very good for keeping in touch.

Life at home changed, too, with the kids picking up some of their father's duties, while he was on duty.

I did all my family's laundry, Cassie said. That's one of things he always did, and I would sometimes cook meals because he's a really good cook.

Being the only other driver in the house I had to take my sisters around, Dustin said. A rehearsal here, swim lessons there.

For now, they're savoring time together, knowing another deployment could be a phone call away.

There's a possibility, said Jim. It's part of the job that we prepare for and what we train for.

Right now, there are about 3,500 men and women from the Wisconsin National Guard deployed overseas.

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