Mother's Day for Utah Soldiers' Mom

Mother's Day for Utah Soldiers' Mom

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Jed Boal reportingThis Mother's Day thousands of Utah moms are missing their children deployed in the Middle East. Others are enjoying the company of their military kids after recent homecomings.

Here's the story of one family experiencing all of those emotions.

Many Utah moms are enjoying the beauty of the day at the park with their families. Others received phone calls or e-mails from sons and daughters at war overseas.

One mother in Salt Lake is thrilled about the safe return of three sons, but her concerns and fears aren't over yet.

Marilyn Johnson is having a Mother's Day to remember.

Marilyn Johnson/ Soldiers' Mother: "This is the ultimate joy. They're home safe and sound."

Her sons Sgt. Caleb Johnson, Sgt. Bill Johnson and Sgt. Nick Johnson of the 1457th Engineer Battalion got home a week ago after a year in Baghdad.

Sgt.Bill Johnson/1457th Engineer Battalion: "We were fortunate to take our family. A lot didn't have that."

Sgt. Caleb Johnson/1457th Engineer Battalion: "You get close to everyone. We'd confide in one another."

Marilyn Johnson and her husband Paul have shouldered their share of sacrifice.

Paul Johnson/Soldiers' Dad: "I guess we've made sacrifices. Talk to the wives, that's where the sacrifices have been made."

Danielle Johnson/Soldier's Wife: "I had a lot of responsibilities. We became closer."

Kelli Johnson/Soldier's Wife: "It's been an experience I thought we'd never have. I'm glad it's over, but it's something we can share with our family when we have kids."

And the sacrifices aren't over.

They have one daughter, seven sons. One more son, Private Chris Johnson, is a cook with the 211th Aviation Regiment recently deployed to Afghanistan.

And son-in-law MSGT Doug Kinsman is with the 115th Engineer Group in Iraq.

Jeri Kinsman/Soldier's Wife: "My husband called me and got me out of bed this morning. It's been okay. You just can't think about it."

While in Iraq the Johnson soldiers helped build bridges and schools, and they delivered gifts from Moss Elementary where their mom teaches reading.

Sgt. Nick Johnson/1457th Engineer Battalion: "It's great to be home for Mother's Day. It's been hard on her for a while."

The family's soldiers still deployed are in relatively safe locations for now. But they all look forward to holidays next year when everyone is safe at home again.

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