Action News has the story of one such father and son, and how they ended up halfway around the world defending the interests of their country.
Members of Fresno's 40th Combat Aviation Brigade left home in 2010 to serve in Iraq. They came home a little more than a month ago in time for Christmas. Among them, a father and son from Clovis, who had little time to worry about each other when mortars were exploding.
Command Sgt. Major David McFerrin: "We're both solders and we knew that was just part of it."
Command Sgt. Major David McFerrin served in the 40th's command unit, his son, Sgt. Andrew McFerrin, with the 640th Aviation Support insuring that the helicopters were flying.
Sgt. Andrew McFerrin: "I'd go again, if I was asked to. Do I want to? I'm ready to stay home at home, I'm 26 and ready to stay at home and get a life going."
Military service runs in their veins, with family ties to volunteering dating back for decades.
Command Sgt. Major David McFerrin: "I believe it's just something inside the heart, as far as patriotism and duty."
Both served at the sprawling "Camp Taji" military base 20 miles north of Baghdad. They would be among the last troops to leave Iraq last December.
Father and son rarely came in contact. But made the most of it when they did. And each utilized today's technology to stay in touch to those at home.
Command Sgt. Major David McFerrin: "If you had your own computer and you could Skype it was a touch of home."
Both are still on leave reconnecting with family and friends. David McFerrin doesn't expect to deploy again. But Andrew McFerrin, who enlisted right out of high school isn't eager to go but would if asked.
Sgt. Andrew McFerrin: "I take allot of pride in my uniform, I take allot of pride in the guys I served with or have served with and how and why."
During the past decade half of those serving in the war on terror came from the ranks of the National Guard and the Reserves.