Coping with Separation

"It's the toughest thing I've ever gone through," said Angela Deen, describing the last three months without her husband, Staff Sgt. Joseph Deen.

In January, Joseph Deen and more than 200 other men and women with the Army National Guard's Company G, 185th Aviation Unit left for Iraq. He's scheduled to return in June.

Angela Deen said the toughest part for her is explaining the situation to her three children who are ages 9, 6 and 5.

"We were doing an Easter egg hunt the other day at Okatibbee and my middle daughter said, 'Why is Daddy not here? Why is he not here?' I was in church last night with my 5-year-old and she was crying out, 'I want my Daddy! I want my Daddy!" said Deen.

Although Deen says she uses the globe to show the girls where their father is and tries to explain why he's there, she says keeping them, her husband and herself uplifted is not easy.

"Because it has been lonely, I will say there are moments when you feel very lonely, like who cares? Does anybody care? You, yourself when you're going through this you don't really want to burden people. You don't know who to go to. Just people calling saying, I'm here. You can talk to me. I'm here, that means a lot because you feel alone. It means the world. It means you're not alone," Deen said.

Although talking with her husband by phone for maybe fifteen minutes every other day is good, Deen says it's her prayers and the home video which her husband made before leaving that keeps her and the children going.

"God is going to bring me back safely. We'll be together again. I will come back. Don't worry about that I will come back. I will come back," said Joseph in the video.