Pvt. 1st Class Margaret Parish and Spc. Jasmine Williams, two soldiers currently stationed at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, are in the midst of their own custody battles.
When Margaret, a 27-year-old mother of three, left for Afghanistan in February 2010, she says her marriage was on the rocks. "I was going to do everything I could to make it work," she says.
But, a few months into Margaret's deployment, her husband told her it was over. "He just came out and said, 'You know, I can't do it if you're going to be gone all the time,'" she says. "'You've abandoned your family. You know, I'm done.' I was hurt. It was like a big slap in the face."
Margaret's husband is now seeking full custody of their three children, who range in age from 18 months to 5 years old. Thousands of miles away, Margaret says she feels helpless. "The only thing I can do is just let it ride," she says. "I have really no other choice but to give him custody. Then, when I get home, I've got to start from scratch. I've got to figure out what I've got to do and go for custody."
No matter how hard this situation is, Margaret feels good about her decision to be in the military. "It's difficult being away from your children anytime," she says. "But I seriously think this is one of the better choices I've made in my life."