ABC NEWS' MICHAEL MENDELSOHN REPORTS: It's a scene played out in homes across the nation - the morning race to make the kids' lunches and get them off to school. And in the Alston house near Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas, it's dad Corey, who wrangles sons Ameon and Corey Jr, and daughter Ymonie, to get out the door in time.
The Alstons are the face of the modern military family. No longer are just wives left behind, but husbands as well.
Supply Sgt. Tessania Alston, Corey's wife, was, until recently, half-way across the globe on her second deployment in Iraq, far from harried Monday morning carpools and lazy Sunday pancake brunches. She has spent the past few months supplying troops with battlefield equipment.
It didn't take long for Corey to slide easily into the role of Mr. Soccer Mom - with his kids falling into their own militarily precise routines.
It ran like clockwork on the surface, but Sgt. Alston's presence was sorely missed.
"The first deployment was very hard. Especially with my daughter," Corey said. "She's a daddy's girl, but I can see that she still needs a mom."
Corey kept the kids busy with full schedules and plenty of extra-curricular activities. He is proud of his wife, proud of his family.
"I know what she's going over there for…Every decision that we make is for our family and to better our family," he told "20/20."
When asked about what his mom is doing in Iraq, 8-year-old Ameon put it quite simply: "She is in the Army and she is saving the world."
Sgt. Alston got her Christmas wish this year-she is now home and with no shortage of accolades for her husband.
She told us, "I think definitely my husband had the harder job compared to myself."
See Sgt. Alston and other soldiers reunite with their families for the holidays on "20/20? Friday at 10 p.m. ET and watch a sneak peek below: