Oh No, My Mom Has to Go

When Rodricka Brice-Curry, a student in DMU’s master of health care administration program and a staff sergeant in the Air Force, had to deploy to Qatar for more than seven months in 2021, it was the first time she and her three-year-old son, Cameron, were apart. To navigate the emotional challenges of her deployment and help other military families do the same, she authored a children’s book, Oh No, My Mom Has to Go! 

“That was an emotional time for me. As a mom, I knew this first deployment would be tough on my son and me,” says Brice-Curry, who is stationed at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, VA. 

The book depicts her and Cameron’s activities during the five days prior to her departure flight, told from a child’s perspective. “We created fun memories and were able to build a bond that would sustain us until I returned home,” she says. Before she left for Qatar, Cameron loaned her his teddy bear, which she took with her, and she gave him a book of photos from their five days of activities. 

Oh No, My Mom Has to Go! incorporates reassuring messages that “Mom will be back” and encourages kids to be strong and helpful when a parent is away, Brice-Curry says. 

“Military children are resilient and strong, but I wanted to help support them,” she says. “With deployments, families are placed in the tough position of celebrating promotions, birthdays and graduations miles apart.” 

During her deployment, she rose at 3 a.m. daily to phone Cameron right before his bedtime. “Fortunately, I was at a place with good Internet, but a lot of military parents are deployed to places without that,” she says. 

When Brice-Curry and her son joyfully reunited, she was delighted and impressed by all he’d learned, such as how to spell his name. The book was a comfort again when she was deployed to Missouri two months after she got home from Qatar. 

Her family may need such comfort less going forward; she now is a unit training manager, which requires less patient care and fewer deployments. She recently began training as an officer in the Medical Service Corps, similar to a hospital executive/administrator role in civilian life. However, she wants to write another children’s book that features family members and friends who “step up” and support kids when a parent is deployed. 

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