Vicki and Tom Apsey speak to their son, Marine Lance Cpl. Josh Apsey, who is serving in southern Afghanistan. Catherine Welch for NPR hide caption

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First Sgt. Derrick Mays stands beneath the company colors outside of a tent at Camp Leatherneck in June. An 18-year Marine Corps veteran, Mays says his wife, Marcia, has a way of tolerating the long deployments. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

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