SSgt. Francis Nelson is based at Tyndall Air Force Base, but has been in Iraq since the middle of January. His family had seven days notice before he left, and now they count down the days for his return as life at home goes on.
Lindsay Nelson doesn't slow down very often with two young daughters at her side.
"It can be stressful, it can be entertaining, it just depends. My days aren't too bad because I'm used to him being at work and taking care of these by myself in the daytime. The worst part of it is at night."
Lindsay married her husband Frances seven and a half years ago. She says it was love at first sight and it didn't take long for them to realize they had finally met “the one.” Since her husband has been in Iraq, she's become the strength at home.
"Most people don't realize the families are here. The soldiers aren't the only ones. They are there doing the dangerous job and stuff, but we are here left wondering if they're coming home. We're the ones left with the day to day."
Lindsay says having the girls helps her get through the day to day, but she says the stress doesn't necessarily end when a soldier comes home.
“Then they come home; we have to be the ones to be there for them and it's hard because you want to hug and hold them all the time when they get home, but they don't want that. They kind of need their space to work with what's here."
She says the adjustment to being a family together again is pretty normal; by getting through it together ends up working to make them even closer.
SSgt. Nelson is expected to return home this April, but the family understands his stay can be extended or even get called back since he's active duty at Tyndall Air Force Base.
While he's gone this family will continue their service and wait for his return.