Lest They Be Forgotten...

Roman waiting to meet Uncle Jim for the first time
Jim holding Roman for the first time - Roman 6 weeks old
Jim in Iraq

In honor of Veteran's day, I made a few "thank-you" phone calls and I took some time to go back through some of the e-mails that I got from my brother while he was in Iraq. Jim left for training in October of 2005. The HHC 1-133 batallion deployed to Iraq in April of 2006. They returned home, minus two of their soldiers, in July 2007. That is 15 months in Iraq...a long LONG time for those men and for the people awaiting their return. To him, and to us, his family at home, this means that he missed the following occasions:
  • Every holiday that year except Christmas
  • Our wedding (he was supposed to walk me down the aisle)
  • My college graduation
  • Many friends' weddings
  • Chelsey's college graduation
  • Fun times and relaxation with friends
  • The purchase of he and Chelsey's first home
  • My whole pregnancy
  • The birth of his first nephew, Roman
These, of course, were events that he very much wanted to be here for. I am sure I am overlooking countless others that he would add to this list. But, the point is, we missed that time with him, and missed that time with us - a whole year. He was so brave and so strong about the whole thing...especially having to deal with their deployment extension. Chelsey was such a rock for him during that time, and I can't imagine someone else would have handled it with any more grace than she did. She is amazing.

Even more than remembering all the things he missed out on, and reading all the letters he sent home, today I realized (again) that these were the most minimal sacrifices he made during those 15 months. He gave up so much more than these events, these comforts...he watched people struggle, watched friends die, watched great tragedy day after day. I am sure he witnessed some miracles along the way, some things that made it seem worthwhile, but I don't want us to forget the amount of love these men have for their country, for our freedom.

I know it has been easier for me to dismiss the war since he has been home. It has been easier to not include those men and women over seas in my prayers. But we need to REMEMBER what they saw - good and bad - and THANK them for their willingness to fight for us.

Thank you, Jim! You are my hero.

Thank you, all veterans. Without you, I know that I would not enjoy the life I do.

God bless all soldiers and their families...especially the ones who made the ultimate sacrifice. You are NOT forgotten.

1 comment:

  1. Very poignant and well written...thanks for the insight...