Thousands of Coastal Empire families have already seen soldiers leave home for yet another deployment to Iraq. Thousands more prepare for their loved ones to leave during the next year. For some this is the second or third time in five years they've said goodbye.
As part of WTOC's look at "The Third ID Back to the Front" we talked to one family dealing with this again. The families left here at home are as tough as the soldiers in harm's way. Kira Fields already helped her husband, Jerrod, heal from losing his leg. She relies on faith not to worry about what could happen this time.
The time for Kira and Jerrod together ticks down. She doesn't take cooking supper for two for granted. He's gets ready to go back to Iraq. The last time she watched him leave, they were just dating.
"We met about three months before he left so I didn't really know what to expect. I'd never been a military wife or girlfriend. I thought it would be okay. But while he was gone it was a lot tougher than I thought it would be," she admitted.
While he was deployed, a roadside bomb exploded under his Bradley Fighting Vehicle and took part of his leg. Since then, they've been through rehabilitation, marriage and a baby daughter. In just three months, she's see him leave again.
"When he called and said I'm going back, it kind of hurt because you don't want to go through that no matter how many times it happens," she noted.
She says she's proud of her husband the hero, but just as proud of her husband the daddy. Jerrod spends as much time as he can now with his daughter and doesn't take anything, even dirty diapers, for granted.
"I just try to do it one day at a time, live it one day at a time. I try to put aside and remember things about her and my wife," he said.
"We've grown closer together and more fond of each other. That's my best friend and he's got to leave me," Kira added.
She says they'll use laptops, phones and everything else to stay in touch.
"The phone you can hear their voice. The email you read it over and over when you don't get to talk them. They both have equal roles," she explained. "Laptops and web cams and pictures. That will be all we have. We can't always talk on the phone but you can record and send because that will be our relationship. That will be how we survive."
Both say they'll also rely on faith and prayer to get them through. For now they don't waste time fretting over the future.
"All you have is the memories of playing and being together when you did have them. If you spend your whole time worrying, you have no memories to think about when that person's not with you," she said.
She also knows no matter how well she does, she can't be both parents while Jerrod is gone.
"When she starts talking, if she says 'Where's daddy?' I have to say 'He's far far away' but he'll be home soon" she said with a sigh.
Kira and other spouses can also rely on family readiness groups for each military unit. They provide a support network for loved ones.
She's also agreed to keep a blog on here on our website while Jerrod is gone where people can get a better understanding of what the families go through while their soldiers are away.