As you might imagine, that's not easy for their loved ones at home. One of CBS News correspondents and his wife were profiled on Thursday's Oprah Winfrey show.
Axelrod and his pregnant wife, Christina, have a 5- and a 7-year-old. Oprah introduced him as one of more than 500 reporters embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq and asked her audience to imagine if he was their husband or father as she showed images of his reports and noted Axelrod was among the first to cross into Iraq with the 3rd Infantry Division of the U.S. Army.
"This is Jim Axelrod reporting from several miles inside Iraq. We are with the lead security elements of the 3rd Infantry Division. When we came across at the border, we saw almost immediately an Iraqi observation post, which was hit by a tank and four Iraqis were killed," he said in a report.
"Jim's wife, Christina, says the first day he was on the move in Iraq was terrifying, and she could not sleep that night, fearing the worst," said Oprah as images of his reports continued.
"The war came at an intense time for the family because Christina is seven months pregnant. In an interview with Early Show Correspondent Jon Frankel, Axelrod said, 'I know that I have a deadline, unlike the United States government. June 9th, my wife and I are expecting our third child. So I'd better be home by then or you talk about regime change? There's going to be one at my house."
Asked what it is like to see her husband on the front line, Christina told Oprah, "It's pretty terrible."
"I've got to say. I don't tend to watch when the kids are awake. So I usually am taping and then watching later," she said. At the same time, she noted, it is reassuring to know that he is well.
Christina said she is not sleeping, but she does get to talk to her husband on the phone. Unlike women and men serving our country, Axelrod has the privilege as a member of the press to have a cell phone.