Iowans on a Mission: Re-adjusting to life back home - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowans on a Mission: Re-adjusting to life back home

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ANAMOSA (KWWL)-- Steph and Staff Sergeant Wes Massow are back to their nightly routine of taking down the American flag that flies outside of their Anamosa home.  But for the last seven months Steph was on her own.  She was managing the house, a full-time job, and four small children while her husband served overseas.

Steph says, "The biggest one is sharing the responsibilities in the house and the kids. Sharing the responsibility of the kids because they are used to coming to me, and I'm used to doing everything at home. I don't so much ask for help... I tell. I say, I need help now!"

It's been three weeks and things are starting to feel normal again.  Wes says he never stopped thinking of those daily tasks, even when he was halfway across the globe.

Wes says, "Did she make it to work ok? Did the kids get dropped off ok? Is she ok? You know it was hard for her. This is her first deployment. And I can't say that she didn't do anything better that I could be proud."

While Wes was deployed to Afghanistan, Steph dreamed of reuniting in the airport.  She imagined waving a flag and running into his arms, but Iowa's unpredictable weather changed the master plan.

Steph says, "The day that he came home was a mess actually! He got delayed because of the snowstorm. I wasn't even at the airport to get him yet. His chief came up and said he was over here getting his baggage! You always see everyone waiting at the gate, but it doesn't always work out that way."

Despite her less-than-perfect reunion with Wes she was glad to get him home. But the two never really lost touch.   They Skyped a nightly kiss from thousands of miles apart.

Wes carried three things with him night after night: a blanket from his mom, a photo of his family and a journal to record his thoughts.

Wes says, "I took this with me, packed it in my bags."

Steph filled the void of her husband's absence by taking on projects to honor him.  Her projects included a display case full of Wes's military memories.

Steph says, "I'm very proud. While he was gone I was always proud to say, my husband is over there, in Afghanistan."

This husband and wife are back under the same roof and try their best to make the most of every moment.  They have replaced web cam kisses with the real thing.

 Online reporter:  Molly Nichols

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