I never thought one day I would find myself in the place that I currently sit in typing this blog to document my time away from home. Well,as you can probably tell.....I am soldier, and here I am serving our country like the many men that came before us to preserve the rights and freedoms of Americans. For as much as I thought I knew about the War on Terrorism I have come to find that the war I fight is as actually just dot a of activity on this vast green earth. I am from a the lower Hudson Valley of NY in a place called Orange County. I've been serving in the Army for about 2 years now, and I am stationed with the 82nd ABN DIV out of Ft.Bragg, NC. Ahhh yes....the South. Hot and muggy during the summer and you can't sit down in a restaurant without them slapping grits on your plate. But now that I am here I find myself missing the cool summer breeze and the sweet tea glass after glass on a beautiful weekend in Fayetteville. While I serve out my time here, at home sits my beloved family of great Americans who support me each day like the wonderful people they are. But they're not the only ones that miss me 10,000 miles away from home. My girlfriend, who in this lifetime I never thought would find me, awaits my return safe and sound to one day live on together. It's funny, because she is the one who introduced me to this blog site. To call her my love would only be scathing the iceberg tip of what she means to me More like my life and hope to keep it all together and make it just one more day to the next. I've been in country roughly 40 days now and for each moment of sheer terror that I find, a new friend or experience finds me. Most days its very difficult because they're isnt a routine to follow when it comes to communicating with you're loved ones. Communication is key when it comes to the military whether its your orders to your soldiers or the words "I love you" to the woman in your life. Somehow lately I found that I am human and that with all the times I thought I couldn't be touched, AFG is just trying to prove me wrong. Deep down I know that after all of this distance and strive is complete that I will have proved so much to myself and to the men and women I serve with. My buddies and I are like the Band of Brothers and we never let each other go a moment to find that we are alone. Not here and not ever.
As my girlfriend dedicates this year to loving herself, I dedicate my service here to my loved ones and to all the great Americans that serve and have served. I want all of you to know that you are never forgotten no matter what direction we look and what actions we take. There is a saying that: Its not where a man sits in times comfort, but instead how he stands in times of adversity and hardship. I stand tall and proud even on days where it seems like the world stops turning until the sun comes up.
At home in a zoo in AZ, sits our puppy Raleigh and our Cat named......uhh well.....Sessa. Yeah not a name you hear quite often but somehow its the name my girlfriend gave her as a kitten. The thought of them all together at home with Melissa is the image I hold in my mind when times are trying the strength of my soul. The pictures in on my desk never let me forget that I am loved by not only the most wonderful girl, but the loving furry friends of the Sunrise Clan.
As I move forward so does the world and everyone in it. As much as it seems to be hardship to many, I am just fine even in a place like this sand box. For those who wonder what were doing here and if its making a difference in the world. I should ask you: How are you helping us to make a difference. If you haven't done already, please thank a veteran and tell them that they are appreciated for what they do or have done. I promise, now that I know how it feels to be a veteran set of gratitude goes a long way and makes the impossible seem achievable.
As I leave you all to the next blog, I would like my wonderful girlfriend to know that I love her dearly and that the time we spend apart is only doubling the amount of time we'll spend together when I get home. I hope she never forgets that I care for her more than a person is granted to love someone in this lifetime. "Just hang in there with me hunny and it will be like I was never a place too far.
To my parents and family, I appreciate all the support and the love you send me in boxes that all open with a smile on my face. All of you make me proud and without you the strength I have wouldn't replenish next day to stand me on my feet. I hope you remember that I serve you. Sleep warmly under that blanket of freedom and know that your son/grandson/nephew is a fighting man and ensures that when you wake up, the sun will shine and freedom will be at your doorstep.