Soldier Wives: Newlyweds find strength in each other - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Soldier Wives: Newlyweds find strength in each other

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

While military men and women need courage during a deployment overseas, their spouses also show courage as they balance careers and kids without their other half.

"One of the first conversations that Mike and I had was that he wanted to be in the army. So I knew what I was getting into," Erika Hoss said.

Mike and Erika met in 2006. Four years later on July 8, 2010 the two got married. One month later, on Aug. 1, Mike left for Afghanistan.

"It's a little hard not being able to talk to my wife for a couple days at a time," Mike said during an interview from Afghanistan via Skype.

Now the two take time once a week, spending face to face time chatting on the computer.

"Did you get my Easter package yet?" Erika asked.

They share moments and think about the day Mike will return home. But the long distance connection can only go so far. In fact, it's a strong support system on the home front, a band of sisters bearing the weight for each other, that keeps Erika and many others going.

"When the guys left I really didn't know anyone. But I stepped out of my comfort zone and went to the FRG [Family Readiness Groups] meetings and met some very very amazing women," Erika said.

One of those women is Kim Schumacher, also a newlywed who's husband Daniel is also in Afghanistan.

"I counted the other day and we're down to like 77 days," Kim said to her husband during a Skype conversation.

"It's just so much nicer to have someone that you know is going through the same thing and knows exactly how you feel," Kim said.

Hoss and Schumacher meet monthly with the 1-133rd Family Readiness Group. Meeting other women in their shoes. But the two women share something that's different.

"We don't have kids to come home to, so it can get a little lonely," Kim said.

It's a loneliness that often comes with a worry about what's happening thousands of miles away.

"Sometimes it's like you're just so afraid when your phone rings. It's just scary knowing that he's over there in such a dangerous area," Kim said.

Now Erika and Kim rely on the strength of each other and the faith that their new husbands will come home safe.

"It's hard to be away from him for so long. But it's also fulfilling to be a part of something so huge," Erika said.

"It is what it is and you just gotta go with the flow and take things in strides," Kim said.

And it's strides that, with time, make these two newlyweds look forward to saying "I love you" in person.

The 1-133rd is expected to return home by Aug. 1. Both women say they can't wait to pick up where they left off. They're most looking forward to spending time with their husbands again.

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