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A Chance Encounter In New York

This column was written by CBS News Early Show Co-Anchor Harry Smith.

By chance I encountered a group of nine women from different parts of the country who meet up in New York once a year.

We got to talking, and it turns out they first became friends when their husbands were at Fort Bragg learning to jump out of airplanes, young officers among the Army's best.

The Army has since scattered them and their families all over the planet. Each woman's husband has served at least one tour in Iraq or Afghanistan, one woman's husband has been in Iraq pretty much all of the last four years.

Not one woman showed an ounce of self pity, each was proud of being able to hold it together on the homefront with their husbands gone for so long.

But, funny they said, how cars and major appliances break down the minute their husbands leave.

What is it like to not have your partner around most of the time? They shook their heads with a you'll never really understand look in their eyes, and one said, "thats why we have each other."

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