I've been talking to a lot of people about Matt's deployment. An odd observation I keep having is that there seems to be a large group of people who are very removed from what is going on over in the Middle East. Since they have no personal connection to the war, they seem to have no invested interest. I wonder if maybe not having a loved one serving makes it seem less real or important... just something happening on the television or in some distant place far, far away?
Well, it is very real. There are very real young men and women who wake up every day and put themselves on the line for each and every one of us.
These are some of the faces of the men who are fighting to defend our freedoms....
John: US Air Force
John is 23 years old, married and the father of three small children. He lived with us for 3 years when he was a teenager and we think of him as another son. He is currently stationed in North Dakota. The photo above was taken during his tour to Afghanistan.
Josh: US Air Force
Josh is 24 years old and is married to my niece, Jess. They have an almost-9-month old son, Wyatt. He has done one tour in Iraq, where the above photo was taken, and is currently deployed to Kuwait. Jess and Wyatt are keeping the home fires burning in Virginia while he is gone. Josh missed his first Father's Day, will miss his anniversary, Jess' birthday, Thanksgiving and probably Christmas and sadly, Wyatt's first birthday. However, he was very blessed to make it home for Wyatt's birth.
Matt: US Army
This is my son, Matt. He turned 20 two days before he deployed. I'm his mom, so I still have days that I can't quite get my mind wrapped around the fact that my baby is all grown-up. Leaving for Iraq was a very real reminder. Matt doesn't have a steady girlfriend and isn't a father yet. I know from out talks that falling in love and starting a family are very important to him. He's going to be an awesome husband and father one day. For now, he puts up with all of us.
There are hundreds and hundreds of men and women who are bravely serving our country, both here in the US and abroad. These are just three young soldiers that I happen to love. They deserve our respect and gratitude and need our support, prayers and believing for their safety and success. Even if you do not personally know someone serving in the military, I am confident that someone you care about does.
For anyone who is interested in showing a little love and support, I've added a new tab to my blog. You can find Matt's address there. If you are inclined, please drop him a line. I know you probably don't know him, but I guarantee he will appreciate hearing from someone (besides his mother) who is thankful for his life and service. If you are motivated to do more, that's awesome! You will find a list of items that are suggested to send to soldiers overseas and if you'd like to send something to a larger group of troops, a few links to some organizations who help facilitate sending care packages.
Even if you choose not to write or send something, thank you for your prayers and positive thoughts. It's so very important to our soldiers and the families they leave behind that our country supports what they are doing.