Published: Dec 23, 2010 12:42 AM EST
Updated: Dec 22, 2010 9:41 PM EST

FT. MYERS, Fla. - The holidays are supposed to be the happiest times of the year.  But for military families separated by thousands of miles, days like Christmas can be tough.

Lcpl. Vidal Sanchez married his wife, Amanda, this summer.  The Naples couple will spend their first Christmas as a family apart.  Sanchez is stationed in Afghanistan.

"It's tough not being able to spend [Christmas] with the family," Sanchez told WINK News in a live interview by satelite.  "But she knows why I'm out here doing it, and it's a good reason."

WINK News helped the couple connect by inviting Amanda to the station to be part of the interview.  Afterwards, the couple had time to visit in private.  Sanchez was injured in November and received a Purple Heart for his heroism.

"I see all his expressions," Amanda said after the interview.  "I see he's happy, and he's okay.  He's not worried about anything."

And that, she says, helps ease her own worries. 

"It's still hard," Amanda said. "But I'm very proud of him.  He's fighting for his country and that makes me happy."

The couple hope to be together again soon.  In the meantime, Amanda will spend part of the holidays with her husband's family.  She hopes he can call and speak with everybody on the phone at some point this weekend.