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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Specialist Angela Schmitt has been in the Army for seven years, joining while a senior at Chartiers-Houston High School.
For the last ten months, she has been serving her country in Iraq and Qatar, leaving behind her husband, 2-year-old son, Ashaar, and her 2-year-old dog, “Stitch.”
Schmitt returned home Aug. 1. Her best friend posted touching pictures on Facebook of her return as her son ran to greet her and as her Australian Cattle dog could not get enough of her.
She arrived at the KDKA-TV studios Thursday to shoot a public service announcement. Schmitt, who is a nurse, will spend her last three years in the military with an Army reserve unit.
She spoke with Brenda Waters during the shoot.
Waters: “How old was your son when you found out you were going to be deployed?”
Schmitt: “He was 8 months [old] when I found out.”
Waters: “And you had how long to prepare?”
Schmitt: “I had roughly about a year to prepare for deployment.”
Women make up a little more than 15 percent of active duty military personnel and more than 2 million children have had a parent deployed at least once.
“With his age, it’s very tough because he’s been learning new things every day, so you miss out on a bunch of new things,” Schmitt said. “He realizes that mom’s not there, but he doesn’t understand why.”
But her husband made certain little Ashaar did not forget his mom.
Schmitt: “His excitement when he sees me just fills my heart with joy. I could live it over and over again.”
Waters: “Any regrets?”