Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving...on Friday???

When you're on a deployment during the holiday season (or any holiday, for that matter) the days seem to run together, making it easy to forget that a holiday is approaching. However, when it comes to a moment of celebration, especially when a meal is part of the tradition, there are times that missions can take a backseat. However, there are also times when combat operations must take precedence. Case in point: Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated on the last Thursday of November; however, due to an important series of operations in my AO, the Command Group has decided to delay the Thanksgiving meal until Friday. This is primarily because so many people will be spread throughout the battlefield that they would miss out on the meal if it were to take place on Thursday.
So, while many of you reading this will be standing in line, waiting for your favorite store to open on Black Friday, I'll be in the DFAC, eating some turkey and dressing. The only thing missing will some football games playing in the background and some quality time with the family. Of course, if the Armed Forces Network (AFN) chooses to replay the Turkey Day games, I won't be missing any football!
Happy Thanksgiving everybody!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Well, this is the second time I've been deployed on Veterans Day. The first time, when I was in Iraq, I was only a few weeks from going home. This time, however, I'm not even half-way through my tour! Although I would love to be a little closer to ending this journey, I'm still very thankful for the opportunity to serve my country during such trying times.
On Memorial Day, I posted a message about how easy it is for people to focus thanking men and women in uniform for their service, rather than acknowledging that Memorial Day is reserved for honoring our fallen brothers and sisters. Today, on the other hand, is for celebrating all of those who have put on a uniform. I'm extremely grateful for all of you who have supported and prayed for me throughout my military career. My hope is that today will be the last time I celebrate Veterans Day as an active service member. Rather, I hope that this time next, I'm thanked for what I DID, not what I am DOING!
Happy Veterans Day!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

TN Army Wife

I believe I've already stated this before on my blog, but it's merits deserve further mention. THE toughest job in the military is being the spouse of a deployed service member. In my case, Leslie has a more difficult job than I will ever fathom in theater. Yes, there are moments when my life has been in danger; however, those events pale in comparison my wife's daily struggle to hold down "the fort" while I am away.
For all intents and purposes, right now Leslie is a single parent. Since I am not there to do much of what the other parent does (or should do), she bears the burden of being both the nurturer and discipliner. What is more, Ellie is at that stage in her life where she needs greater oversight and attention. Despite her bubbly personality and charm, she has her moments of being a little monster. As desperately as I want to be there to both attend to Ellie and support Leslie, I am half a world away, busy fighting my own set of little monsters.
Throughout the lead up to my deployment, I've had numerous people come up to me and thank ME for MY service. Yes, I'm doing something that a fraction of our nation's population has ever done; yet, I cannot shake the fact that my wife is making a sacrifice far greater than anything I will ever do over here. Although it's easy to look at my circumstances and say that I'm making a huge sacrifice, I ask that you please consider how much the most important person in my life is sacrificing on a daily basis.
A good friend of mine who is a singer/songwriter in Nashville wrote a song called "She Lives To Give." It's a story about a wife and mother who embodies selflessness and love. Every time I listen to it, I think about Leslie and what she means to me. She is truly a Proverbs 31 wife and I am so blessed to have her in my life. Lord knows where I'd be without her. Luckily I don't ever have to worry about that!
I would like to ask a favor. If you're reading this, please take some time to thank Leslie for HER service. It can be something as simple as a Facebook post, text message, phone call or even just a prayer for her during these trying times. She deserves praise and consideration for her actions far more than I do.
Leslie, I love you and thank God you are my soul mate. Hopefully you will accept this simple message as a token of my love and appreciation for you. You are my everything.