It was a whirlwind trip around the world for U.S. Representative Martha McSally. This past week, she took a trip to Afghanistan, leading a group of women in Congress to meet with lawmakers, but also - to deliver special messages for Mother's Day.
It's those messages that make home feel closer, even if it is nearly 8,000 miles away.
"We had local school kids in Tucson write cards up to hand to the troops and very thoughtful... cute - sometimes very funny, you know, what messages come from them," McSally said.
Representative McSally and fellow congresswomen delivered those cards in person to the mother's serving in Afghanistan right now.
"Just some touch of home, some touch of knowing that people remember what you're doing and people are thanking you for your service and they know that what you're doing matters," McSally explained. " mean, that just brings a smile to everybody's day."
But, the trip - also a business one for the group of women. They met with troops and Afghan leaders, receiving updates about security in the region, especially the downsizing plan for troops in the next six months.
"Look, we've spent a lot of blood and treasure in Afghanistan. We've had a lot of lives lost there. It's not about just continuing on because of that. Sunk cost is never a reason to continue with a bad investment," McSally said. "But, as we take a strategic look at Afghanistan, why is it in our vital national interest to make sure that it's not a failed state."
The group meetings also focused on the role of women in security forces in the region there, something McSally said is a major concern.
"It's really important that they have women integrated into their police force and their security forces as they are securing their own communities, so that they can fully address the issues that are affecting everybody in those communities... men and women," McSally explained.
This is the second time McSally has lead this trip.
Now, her attention turns to the border on Monday, where she is holding a field hearing in Sahuarita.