From ABC News’ Martha Raddatz:
They share stories about their children like any other group of moms.
But the challenge that these mothers face, the sacrifices they make, are unlike any others.
They have all served the country for nearly the entire decade we have been at war.
“There are those times when we are talking when she says, ‘You know Mom, I really miss you, I wish you were here, I wish you could come to Girl Scouts with me’,” says U.S. Army Sergeant First Class J.R. Williams, taking a deep breath.
“Tough up…Tough up,” she says to herself. “‘You know kiddo, I want to be there, too, I really do.’”
Staff Sergeant Violet’s Edwards husband is also deployed in Afghanistan. Their 3-year-old son had his birthday without them.
“There have been many nights of tears. Of crying. Of missing him. But it comes with the job,” Edwards says.
And that is the attitude you see among these mothers — pride in what they do, and pride that their children understand how important it is.
“I get letters from the teachers at school saying she thinks you’re a hero she looks up to you,” Captain Crystal Wick says wistfully.
There is of course, beyond the sadness of separation, one more thing that sets these women apart. The possibility that they won’t come home.
Williams says she tries not worry about that.
“My first deployment, I was obsessive with it. I was scared because she was so little, she would forget,” she says, her chin trembling as she fights back tears. “I just can’t live like that.”
But for all the fears, the sacrifice, all of these women say it is worth it when they step off that plane.
“Those hugs and kisses and being able to hold them and put them in your arms is pretty amazing,” says Captain Amy Becker.