Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Soldier's back in Baghdad

ORN: 9 miles total, with 8x400m hill repeats @ 2:05

We’ve had a busy two weeks while our son David was here on leave from his duty as an Army medic in Baghdad. Sadly, we bid him goodbye this week and on Wednesday morning, he headed back.

The time here could not have gone better. David and Susan connected marvelously, which was an answered prayer. Long deployments are hard on a marriage and the two of them have worked hard to keep communicating and loving each other well. Twins Andrew and Nathan, at age 3.5, really enjoyed having their Daddy home. On Tuesday, David had Susan give him his very short Army haircut and the twins both said they wanted haircuts “just like Daddy.” Quite endearing. Little Berneice had her first birthday while David was here and she came to really enjoy this man she hasn’t seen since October. Feel free to take a look at the family photos
here.

Middle son Nathan also joined us last weekend, flying in from Portland with girlfriend Allison, to see his brother and show Allison where he grew up. She’s a wonderful young woman, we really enjoyed her. Both David and Nathan included 18 year-old brother Matt in a lot of real activities, accepting the fact he’s not the “little brother” any more. Made Gretchen and me very pleased.

Gretchen saw him off early Wednesday morning, staying with the kids while Susan drove her hubby to the airport. David was in uniform, mentally preparing for the trip and the transition back to military duties. She commented “He’s a real man. He fills out that uniform and is truly responsible.” Indeed.

He’s set to return in late December, when his Army obligation will be over. Keep him safe, O Lord, and may we soon see an end to this war.

Persevere. Just like David and Susan are doing.


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12 comments:

Mary Christine said...

Joe, Thanks for visiting my blog today. My son should be home from Iraq next month. These days get long. I will keep your son in my prayers. Persevere indeed!

Karen said...

Yes, we are very proud of this mine young serviceman AND his lovely family. May all of them be held closely in the Lord's hands.

Karen (Joe's sister)

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

Joe- So glad that having your son home for a break went so well. I have seen firsthand what long deployments in Iraq can do to children and spouses. I have a neighbor who is on his 3rd deployment to Iraq and has had a 6 month extension. He has three girls, 15, 6, and 5. It has been the most rough on the 6 year old who hs just begun to understand why Daddy isn't home and can't just come home. We also have some deployed memebers of our Y run club and one home due to injury. Such a blessing to spend this precious time together, altogether for your family. I will pray for your son toreturn home safe and for this conflict to end soon.
Jenny

Karen said...

Joe, my thoughts are with you, your son and your family. Having done a short stint in Basra (am part of reserves here), it's only when I got home did I truly appreciate what everyone at home had gone through. It's a tour for those loved ones at home too, just manifests itself in a different kind of way. Stay strong and persevere indeed. Roll on December and the safe return of David.

Randy said...

Hi Joe, thanks for stopping by and I'm glad that my blog led you to another family with a son deployed in Iraq, Mary.

Good luck on your running as well...I will add you to my list of bloggers to visit.

Prayers and Peace for your son and your family....and all those with sons or daughters, husbands and wives in Iraq and elsewhere around the world defending the rights of the world to live in freedom, we are so very proud of their efforts.

Darrell said...

That is so great that the whole family could get together. Our prayer for David and the whole Ely family will continue.

Sarah said...

I wish him and your family well. May he come home safely again in December.

Neese said...

beautiful family. bless david for doing such great things

robtherunner said...

Great photos of the family. Glad to hear he was able to come home for a couple of weeks and you all were able to get together. Continued prayers for him and the rest of the soldiers and families.

WADDLER26.2 said...

Glad the visit wento so well. I love the Photos. God will keep him safe and bring him back.

Wes said...

That is so awesome. Keep him safe indeed. The war won't last forever, and will end sooner now that an election is coming :-) Hope you guys have a great visit with Darrell. Best wishes to your family...

aprilanne said...

Lovely Pics.