If anyone has a reason not to return to Iraq, it would be Jerrod Fields. Since his last deployment, he's gained a wife and a baby daughter. During his last deployment, he lost his leg to a roadside bomb. But this Bradley driver's re-enlistment earned the admiration of many, including Vice President Cheney. Fields now faces another deployment in May and a year away from his new family.
"It's real tough. I just take it a day at a time and try not to think about it too much knowing that the time I have with my family. I want it to be for us. When the time comes, its time to put on the boots and go. So I try not to let that linger," Fields explained.
Jerrod and wife, Kira, had just met when he left two years ago. He says this time he knows more of what to expect and he prepares with even more prayer. But in some ways he says, no amount of training can help.
"It's never something you get used to. But, you know, its a mission we've all got to do sometimes and my wife understands that. We do the best we can," he added.
That means staying in touch half a world away with laptops they just bought for this time apart.
"It's tough with the time difference," he said with a shrug. "I might send a message while she's asleep. She might send one while I'm asleep or on a mission. But we try to keep in touch every day."
That will include constant pictures of their daughter and routine visits through a web cam.
"As she gets older, she'll pay more attention to seeing Daddy on a web cam," he laughed
He says a doting dad and a tough soldier can be one in the same and during deployments no one makes fun of brothers in arms who miss family and home.
"Yeah, when we're out and about we put the front on but you know when you've got little ones like this you start to melt," he noted.
He says that philosophy and plenty of prayer and faith will guide him in the long year away from home.
WTOC's Special Assignment " Back to the Front: Return of a Hero" will feature Jerrod's wife, Kira, Wednesday during THE News at 6.