COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - While a lot of South Carolina's bravest prepare to make their way home, some families are dealing with the fact that their loved ones are actually extending their stay.
Nancy Steele's countdown clock lists 18 days until her husband was scheduled to be home, but now it's off.
"It's like we're starting all over again. We've already been there done that," says Nancy.
He's been serving in Afghanistan with the 218th for the past year, but now he's decided to extend his contract for another six months.
"It was a surprise because we were looking for him to come in May with everybody else," Nancy told WIS News 10.
You can imagine Nancy's reaction.
She and Master Sergeant Steve Steele have been married for 35 years, and that's how long he's been a weekender with the Army National Guard.
Four years ago he decided to go full time.
"I work. I keep myself busy and if I don't think about it, I'm okay. If I think about it, then I get emotional," says Nancy.
They have two sons and five grandchildren. So why is he doing it?
"He just feels like that if he can do something for these Afghan people that he would be helping," says Nancy.
MSgt Steele is one of about a hundred that have chosen to extend their contracts. Like many other wives, Nancy is having to learn how to deal all over again.
"Well if I told you I wasn't disappointed that wouldn't be a story wouldn't it? This is disappointing but we'll let him do what he wants to do because he has a big heart and he wants to do good," says Nancy.
Meanwhile Nancy is going to change her clock from 18 days to 198 days.
"One day at a time. That's all we can do," she says.
Reported by Trey Paul