Monday, September 19, 2005
It's been a week since I returned to Iraq from two weeks of R&R (rest and relaxation) with my family. Dawn, Benjamin and Jared picked me up at the Savannah airport; it had been eight months since I last saw them, and it was the first time for me to see Jared--what a chunker! I held him, changed him, dressed him, took him swimming, napped with him, wrestled with him, and got to bless him in church. He is such a beautiful baby; Dawn, Benjamin, and I are thrilled with him. I am grateful for the support of family and friends Dawn had during her pregnancy and delivery. We are blessed.
Highlights from my two weeks of leave include having lunch with Benjamin at Richmond Hill Elementary School; teaching him to ride his bicycle without training wheels; catching and examining cool insects (eg., a red-velvet ant, giant grasshopper, and a snake egg) helping Dawn put the finishing touches on Jared's nursery; swimming in our pool; working out with Dawn @ her gym; having Mom, Tammy, Jeff, James and their kids come visit and our huge watergun fight; enjoying Dawn's gourmet chocolate chip banana-nut bread; and as you might imagine, just being able to experience my family in person!
Getting back home and then returning to Iraq is an
arduous process. It can take several days, and
completely wore me out. I'm still having trouble functioning--which is quite common. In the picture to the right we are loading up in a C130 to fly down to Kuwait, from there we fly to Europe, and then off to our respective destinations in the states. We were so stinking excited to get to our families.
Benjamin took the picture above left, before leaving for church to bless Jared. I love my family immensely and appreciate that their sacrifice is no less significant than the one I make. As I am out and about visiting with soldiers, I am always talking with them about their families. As soldiers, we have grown close to one another during our absence from family and friends back home. Some families take a hit from the trials and stress associated with separation, but others survive, and still others are made stronger.