"You could very easily get killed," said Staff Sgt. James Muncy with the Army National Guard.
But what's even tougher is leaving behind your wife and two young children while you fight for our country.
"It's exhausting, to be honest with you," said Muncy's wife, Brandy.
"I know people say, 'How do you do it?' but you just take it one day at a time, don't overwhelm yourself. Today was a bad day? Go to sleep, wake up."
During his twelve years with the Army National Guard, SSG. Muncy has completed two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.
His wife Brandy has spent those deployments holding down the fort here at home with two young daughters -- and she couldn't have done it alone.
Brandy's boss, Dave Dalzell, and her 'work family' proved to be their saving grace.
"The stress and the frustration on the families is extreme, so maybe having an employer family who experiences that with you and cares about you is a special thing.," Dalzell said.
"Having that support, without my family being here, was amazing," Brandy agreed.
When SSG. Muncy returned from Afghanistan without a job, Dalzell then created a position for him to get the family back on their feet.
"It helped us put food on the table," Muncy said.
Dalzell also helped fix up the family's home, made numerous repairs and provided financial support for Brandy to go back to school and get her realtor's degree.
"He's not just an employer, he's a family member," Brandy said.
Wednesday morning, Dalzell was awarded the "Above and Beyond" award by Texas Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, agency with the Department of Defense.
"He wasn't required to do anything, and he did more than most employers do, more than anything i know about," said Keith Garner with the TESG.
Dalzell said providing that support to military families like the Muncy's is his way of saying "thank you" for their service.