Soldiers won't be overseas as long when they deploy.
Secretary of the Army John McHugh announced Friday that unit operational deployments will be reduced from 12 months to nine months. The families of soldiers stationed at Fort Carson told us that the shortened deployments will make a huge difference in their lives.
"It's a lifetime,” Specialist Justine Smolky said. “It really is when you're away from your loved ones for even a day. My daughter is 18 month old. She's my first child. So to be away from her for even an hour is a long time."
Both Smolky and her husband have deployed, and like another soldier 11 News spoke with, they've missed some milestones.
"I missed her birth because I was deployed,” Specialist Marlon Ard said looking at his young daughter. “It’s just one of those things you're going to have to deal with down the line or what not.”
Ard has deployed four times, and like other military families, it affects the kids.
"I raised them the majority of the time,” Zaida Deblasio, who’s married to a retired military member, said. “I've been married to my husband for almost 25 years, and I want to say we've actually lived together for maybe seven years."
The change will be fully implemented by July 2012, and it doesn't apply to high demand and low density units as well as individual deployers.
Soldiers won’t get two-week rest periods while serving in combat zones because of the reduced time.