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Separated by War: The Homecoming

Update (Nov. 21, 2012): Tim is home for good now. He voluntarily left the Marines and now works as a maintenance technician for an oil company. The couple no longer lives at Camp Pendleton. They're back in their hometown of Wichita, Kan., where they recently bought a house. They need the space, too, because now there are four kids. Another son, Tiernan, was born about 10 months ago.

Earlier this year, we got up close and personal with a military family that was soon-to-be separated by war. Marine Staff Sgt. Tim Gallagher represents the new face of America's military — service members with children. Over 40 percent have at least one child younger than 18 years old. Staff Sgt. Gallagher left his wife and three young children behind for his tour of duty in Afghanistan. Now we're catching up with the family to see how they coped during his dangerous deployment and are there to see his emotional return home seven months later.

After months of MRE's (military Meals, Ready-to-Eat), Staff Sgt. Gallagher yearned for something special for his first meal back home. But you'll never guess what it was. Not filet mignon. Not grilled salmon. Not even a Dodger Dog. Nope. He wanted something his mom used to make when he was a kid — Betty Crocker "Bisquick Balls" made with sausage and cheese. Gallagher ate nine in rapid succession. How many can you eat? Here's the recipe. Special thanks to Rhonda Gallagher for this one.

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