Sunday, December 30, 2007

Back in the U.S.

"Hey, Dad, this is David. I'm back in the US."

With that simple greeting on the phone on Friday afternoon, a huge weight lifted from our family's collective shoulders. My oldest son was back from his second (and final) tour in Iraq, a 15 month time away from his wife, three kids and the rest of the family that was truly an ultra-marathon.

His wife Susan was there to greet him at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs. The two of them will spend about a week there enjoying much-deserved and much-needed time alone. He will be released for 30 days of block leave on Sunday, January 6, when they will drive back here. On January 8, we'll celebrate Christmas. And what a celebration that will be.

It has been good to talk to both David and Susan in the last day or so. As my wife put it "They have their happy voices back." I've been amazed and encouraged by the maturity and depth with which the two of them have handled this challenging phase of their lives.

Along with Susan's parents and a few other helpers, we are taking care of their kids while they are gone. Lemme tell you, the effort of a full day on Saturday caring for twin boys who are not quite 4 and their 18 month old little sister was enough to rival any 20 mile training run with hills and heat. There is a good reason most babies are born to people in their 20s!

Plans for David will have him back in Colroado for a few weeks in February to finalize paperwork and then he will be honorably discharged, having fulfilled his Army contract, with a year extra included due to this deployment. Building on his experience as a Medic, he'll be going back to school and getting a Physicians Assistant degree over the next 2-3 years.

It's great to have him back. Rejoice with our family. Everyone persevered.

7 comments:

crossn81 said...

Congratulations!!! That is so exciting!!

Backofpack said...

Joe,
This one brought tears to my eyes. I am so thankful that he made it home to you safely, and so grateful to him for giving up time with his family to serve our country. Give him big hugs and enjoy your family Christmas!
Michelle

Darrell said...

Wonderful, absolutely wonderful!

WADDLER26.2 said...

Joe,
Tears came to my eyes also. How happy you must be! Bless you snd your family- enjoy the belated Christmas which will be a true celebration.

Wes said...

Wonderful! I absolutely excited for you guys!! What's that they say about children? Young parents have the strength, older parents/grandparents have the patience :-)

Sarah said...

I'm so happy for you and your family! Enjoy! : )

david said...

What a great Christmas present. I know how glad you are to have your son back in the States. Your time in January will be a wonder belated Christmas.

Enjoy your time doing the "training runs" watching the grand kids.