The Ocean Springs vet's office where Katie Johnson oversees the kennel was hectic on the Friday before Christmas. That's good, because the busier Katie stays, the less time she has to think about her husband Ken. Since November, he has been in Afghanistan serving with a medical group from Keesler.
"It's hard," she says. "I miss him very much, but I've very proud of him. I know he's fighting for our country's freedom. Even though it's our first year of marriage, I can take away from that you know. I'm very proud of him, but I miss him dearly I really do."
Katie and Ken haven't spent much time together. They just got married May 5th. But she says she's grateful that her father is here to spend Christmas with her and her co-workers are very supportive.
"But still you come home and he's not there, putting up the lights, putting up the Christmas tree and he's not there and it's tough, it's really tough."
So until Ken comes home, Katie waits for his calls. Because of the 8-hour time difference, he has to catch her at work.
"He's very limited on what he can tell me. Of course I try, but it's like I can't tell you. He tells me he's safe, he's okay and tells me loves me, how are things at the house."
It may be as late as April before Ken comes home, so until that day arrives, Katie has to settle for phone calls and emails from her husband this holiday fighting terrorism, somewhere in Afghanistan.