To read more about the members of this unit, and how life on the homefront has changed, click here.
When Brian Anderson decided to join the Army, his girlfriend Seena promptly broke up with him. A self-described hippie who takes to heart the "make love, not war" slogan, Seena decided she couldn't plan a life with someone who was in the military.
It took a few months of heartache, but eventually Seena realized Brian was the love of her life, and if he chose the military she had no choice but to support him. "I basically realized I love this man entirely too much to let this get in the way," she says.
Now six years later, Seena held their daughters Jenna, 4, and Skye, 2, as she said goodbye to Brian again, this time as he deployed to Afghanistan with the Army Reserves.
"It's very difficult for me. I do not believe in war, but at the same time I am a huge supporter of the troops," Seena says. And it's important to her that Brian be able to do his job overseas, knowing that his family is doing OK at home. "I have to be strong for him, I don't want any moment where he wonders if we're OK. I want him to focus on coming home."
Skye doesn't understand where Daddy is, but Jenna knows daddy is gone for a very long time.
Before he deployed, the family watched a Sesame Street video about deployments. The first night Brian was gone, Jenna asked her mom, "Is Daddy going to be looking at the moon like Elmo is looking at the moon?" Yes, Seena told her daughter, they would all be looking at the same moon until Daddy comes home.
Liz DeCarlo is the senior editor at Chicago Parent.
See more of Liz's stories here.