- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 11, 2013

Troops serving in Afghanistan go for months without the comforts of home and seeing loved ones regularly — something that can be felt more deeply on Mother’s Day.

This will be Army Staff Sgt. Alisa Ballard’s first Mother’s Day away from her 11-month-old son, Christian.

“My mom tells me that everything that I’ll miss, I could miss when I’m home. He could walk at day care, and I could be at work. So that gave me a little bit of comfort,” said the 31-year-old Woodbridge, Va., native.

Air Force Tech Sgt. Sonja Parks said she’s missed multiple Mother’s Days in her more than 12 years as an Air Force medic, but it doesn’t make being away from her daughters any easier.

On Sunday, the Chesapeake Bay, Md., resident will Skype with her two daughters, 2-year-old Rachel and 9-year-old Sarah.

The first thing she’s going to do when she gets back home in three months is “give my girls a hug and give my husband a hug,” Sgt. Parks said.

Army Spc. Jason Lucas, 22, says the first thing he’ll do when he’s back at home is give his wife and two dogs a hug.

But his mom is not far from his mind.

“I’ll probably send her flowers,” said the Williamsburg, Va., native. “My mom’s got two sons deployed. It’s probably stressing her out a little bit.”

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