My mother served in Baghdad, Iraq for 12 months in 2006-2007. She left about two weeks after I got married and was still gone when I found out I was pregnant. Luckily, she was home about three months before my daughter was born. It was incredibly difficult not to have my mom during such an important time in my life. While my hubby was there for me while I was pregnant, he didn't understand why I was being such a hormonal lunatic all the time.
My mom at her MOB station in Wisconsin. She carried a loaded rifle with her everywhere she went in Iraq. It's hard to imagine my soft-spoken, sweet mother packing heat.
Mom in Iraq
My little brother also served in Balad, Iraq for about three months. While he wasn't gone as long as my mom, his girlfriend thought it was the end of the world. We all missed him. He came home with a hardcore mustache. We were still proud of him though.
My little brother just before he left for Iraq with my little munchkin
My little brother was so proud of the new 'stache he grew when in Iraq. It lasted about 2 weeks when he got home.
I continue to be so appreciative of the service of our soldiers and military families, especially those so close to me!